Wayfair to open first store

From clicks to bricks, Wayfair is the latest etailer to grow offline with plans to open its first physical store in Autumn 2019 in Massachusetts

Internet furniture and home accessories retailer Wayfair is the latest company to launch a physical store. 

The company has announced it be opening its first full-service store at the Natick Mall in Natick, Massachusetts, which is managed by Brookfield Properties, in early autumn of this year. That’s after it tested a few pop-up shops, including one at Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey, during this past holiday season.

Now, Wayfair CEO and co-founder Niraj Shah says a permanent location will allow the company to bring its website to life, and hopefully win more customers over with “knowledgeable support and expertise of our in-store design team” that can’t be matched online.

Born-online brands opening up bricks-and-mortar locations is a frequent occurrence in the retail industry today, with wedding registry etailer Zola recently opening a Pop-Up in New York City.

Wayfair’s new store will allow shoppers to either purchase products there to take home, or have orders placed for delivery to home, the company says. Wayfair also said it’s planning to open four pop-up locations this summer.

Wayfair shares have surged nearly 140 per cent over the past 12 months to trade around US$162. Analysts say the company has done particularly well on the internet considering it sells furniture items, like sofas and coffee tables, that are bulky and not easy to take home from a store. But the new store will also help Wayfair grow brand awareness and let shoppers try out its products in real life.

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