Home lifestyle brand Wayfair has announced that its first brick-and-mortar location will open this fall. Until then, four pop-up locations will allow consumers to interact with designers and combine the experience of physical shopping with online ordering.
Wayfair has used pop-up store activations to engage its users in the past, but the new location in the Natick Mall in Natick, Massachusetts will serve as the brand’s first permanent destination. The new store is scheduled to open in early fall 2019 and will feature “an engaging format with convenience and ease,” Wayfair stated.
Retail shoppers will be able to receive free design consultations, view products and order them for home delivery.
Four other pop-up locations will activate this summer that will offer a curated selection of seasonal home decor, decorative accents and wall decorations.
“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 prepared statement. “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.”
The upcoming Natick location is no coincedence—Wayfair operated a pop-up shop inside Natick Mall during the 2018 holiday season, along with a second location at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. Massachusetts is also home to Wayfair headquarters.
Whether the Natick pop-up received more foot traffic or is simply closer to home was not explained. Wayfair did not immediately respond for comment.
Many direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands often open their first retail locations in their home states, observed retail real estate firm JLL Research in a 2018 study. Wayfair joins a number of direct-to-consumer brands that are combining digital and physical retail for a complete experience. The study observed that digital-native brands expressed plans to open 850 stores over the next five years.
It is very likely that Wayfair weighed its options by analyzing customer behavior, however. The brand built its own CRM from the ground up and uses that single view to create an entire picture of each customer’s journey.
In October, Wayfair announced MyWay, a subscription service that offers discounts and personalized recommendations similar to Amazon Prime. The company also uses technology to close the imagination gap when making home decor purchases. Wayfair offers a mixed reality app called Wayfair Spaces for Magic Leap One that allows users to preview items in their homes.