Less than four months after debuting its first retail store, Minneapolis-based eyewear brand Eyebobs has announced it will open a store at the Mall of America this spring.
Eyebobs was founded in 2001 by marketing and wholesale professional Julie Allinson after she had trouble finding a pair of stylish readers that didn’t cost a fortune. The line of colorful, stylish readers for the “irreverent and slightly jaded” quickly gained a cult following—including celebs Katie Couric, Andrew Zimmern and Joan Rivers. The brand is now sold at thousands of retailers around the world and online, including local shops Hubert White, Allen Edmunds, and MartinPatrick3.
This past October, the brand opened its first branded “retail lab” store within the lower level of its North Minneapolis headquarters. Around the same time, it debuted new prescription eyeglass options and its first line of polarized sunglasses, and brought back a collection of vintage Eyebobs frames from from its archive. These big moves are being led by new CEO Michael Magerman, a consumer and retail industry vet that joined the company nearly two years ago.
“To our surprise, I learned that about half of their shoppers were taking our reading glasses, knocking out the lenses, and putting prescriptions in them,” Magerman said at the time. “We were already making optical-quality frame—why not offer prescriptions? It was a natural move.”
The brand launches between 100 to 150 new styles and colors every year, designed by eyebobs’ longtime eyewear designer, Jason Engelman. Those constant additions are part of what drive the eyebobs customer, which typically owns four to ten pairs of eyebobs frames.
For its new prescription frames and lenses, the company decided on a simple pricing model, with a single price point across all 450 frame options ($89 for readers, $149 for polarized sunglasses, $199 for single-vision prescriptions, and $299 for progressives).
The 1,000-square-foot Mall of America store will be located on the west end of the mall on the main level and will feature the brand’s full range of frames, as well as certified opticians and eye exams. In the meantime, you can shop the brand’s flagship store at 1401 Glenwood Avenue North in Minneapolis.