December 8, 2021
Online furniture and home-goods purveyor Wayfair is making its biggest bet yet on physical retail, as it plans to open three new brick-and-mortar locations in Massachusetts next year, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Wayfair began experimenting with brick-and-mortar stores in 2018, when it opened several pop-up shops, followed by a Wayfair store in Natick, Massachusetts—a city about 20 miles west of Boston, where Wayfair is based. That Wayfair store closed permanently in December 2020.
At the moment, Wayfair has no brick-and-mortar stores open. Its outlet center, near its distribution center in Florence, Kentucky, is temporarily closed because of COVID-19, and the company is in the process of evaluating a reopening date, according to a spokesperson.
Wayfair said the stores opening in 2022 will be the first in a series of openings for all of its five brands, which also include Perigold and Birch Lane.
The new stores will showcase furniture, bedding, plates, and silverware; as well as other items for the home. Shoppers will be able to have their purchases delivered to their homes, the company said.
More retailers that got their start online are realizing the benefits of having physical stores. Many shoppers like to touch and feel items before they buy them. Shipping online orders from a store is often less expensive than doing the same task from a warehouse. And physical sites can be a less expensive way to acquire new customers than traditional digital marketing, analysts said.
Research contact: @WSJ