Wisconsin Vision to open branch in former Metro Eye space

New Berlin-based Wisconsin Vision plans to open a new branch in the former Metro Eye space at 309 N. Water St. in Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward. Metro Eye moved to 325 E. Chicago St.

The new 2,000-square-foot store will be branded Wisconsin Vision, LTD, and will offer a boutique style different from other Wisconsin Vision stores. The site will focus on select popular, upscale brands, including Ray Ban, Prada, Coach, John Varvatos and Cole Haan.

“The Third Ward has been one of downtown’s fastest growing housing markets and has become much more than just a destination to dine and drink. Filled with empty nesters and young professionals that live and work there, we see a diverse, growing and attractive retail market for us,” said Darren Horndasch, Wisconsin Vision president and chief executive officer. “We believe this market is ready for additional choice in eyewear brands as well as the high level of lens technology and personalized service that Wisconsin Vision brings.”

Wisconsin Vision also announced it has acquired two new locations in Indiana under its Heartland Vision brand.

“We acquired two solid performing stores and we will continue to look at additional stores in other markets,” Horndasch said. “We have the capacity to grow but we want to be strategic and selective letting good market opportunities drive our expansion.”

Wisconsin Vision, the state’s largest independently-owned optical company, now has 37 locations, 24 of which are in Wisconsin. It has six Heartland Vision locations and seven Chicago-area Eye Boutique locations. It has about 240 employees.

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