Our website uses cookies

Cookies enable us to provide the best experience possible and help us understand how visitors use our website. By browsing Essential Retail Magazine, you agree to our use of cookies.

Okay, I understand Learn more

Wayfair to make physical retail debut with US pop-ups

Wayfair said it is aiming to deepen engagement with its shoppers by opening two pop-up stores in the US on 1 November.

The online furniture and homeware business is moving into physical retailing for the first time to coincide with the busy festive trading period.

Its temporary stores will be located in Natick Mall in Natick, Massachusetts and the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. Described as interactive brand experiences, these shops will contain several practical workshop-like areas and home design experts, who will be present to offer product and service advice.

Wayfair’s e-design platform, which enables customers to play around with the design of their homes online, will also be showcased. In other areas of the shops, visitors will be able to learn how to tackle home improvement projects, browse the retailer’s eCommerce selection, and place orders for next-day or two-day delivery.

The move into physical retail is viewed by the company as part of an ongoing brand awareness and marketing campaign.

“We are bringing the Wayfair brand directly to shoppers in a completely new format this holiday season,” explained Ed Macri, chief product and marketing officer at the retailer.

“Building on the success of our television advertising and direct mail, this pop-up experience is yet another way we are deepening engagement with customers beyond our online presence.”

Shops will be open during mall hours, beginning on 1 November 2018 before closing down on 2 January 2019.

Wayfair is viewed as something of an innovator in the digital space, so its experimentation in a shopping centre environment stands out.

This summer it launched a mixed-reality experience, allowing users to view virtual products in their homes. The capability is powered by Helio, the first-ever spatial computing web browser courtesy of US company Magic Leap, which is linked to a headset that went on sale to the public in August.

By wearing the headset, shoppers can pull their chosen items via holographic technology into a physical space. Because the items are to scale and can be viewed in 3D, consumers using the technology can gather a life-like example of how furniture looks in the home before they’ve made the purchase.

What’s Hot on Essential Retail?