Following the “clicks-to-bricks” trend that has seen pure-plays like Brandless, Warby Parker, Amazon and Bonobos open physical locations, home goods seller Wayfair will open its first store this fall in a mall in Natick, MA, offering a curated selection of items for sale.
The move comes after Wayfair began experimenting with pop-up shops last year in Massachusetts, including at the Natick Mall and in Paramus, NY during the holiday season. The company also announced it will open four new pop-up shops this summer. Wayfair also has an outlet store at its fulfillment center in Florence, KY.
“With the opening of our new retail store, we are offering our customers a new way to enjoy Wayfair’s exceptional shopping experience as we continue to transform the way people shop for their homes,” said Niraj Shah, CEO, co-founder and co-chairman of Wayfair in a press release. “We look forward to inviting our customers further into the world of Wayfair, welcoming them to step inside our newest shopping experience guided by the knowledgeable support and expertise of our in-store design team.”
Wayfair promises to provide a connected omnichannel experience with its customers in the new store, for instance by letting them opt to have store purchases shipped home. The store will have customer service and experts on hand to offer design consultations and recommendations for home improvement projects and décor.
“We have always focused on delivering our customers the best possible shopping experience for home,” said Anjalee Sujanani, General Manger, Physical Retail at Wayfair. “We are excited to extend this experience to our customers in this new format, which will showcase a wide variety of products spanning decorative accents and housewares, to furnishings for bedroom and living room, home office and outdoor.”
MCM Musings: The clicks-to-bricks trend is now hitting its stride, with more and more ecommerce sellers seeing the value of a physical location to serve the needs of the majority of shoppers who still want an in-store experience. The benefit to them vs. legacy retailers is they can begin judiciously with strategic locations, then expand as it catches on. It’s also easier for them to create a state-of-the-art, digitally friendly “store of the future” concept from the ground up vs. retrofitting existing locations.