Wayfair Aims For Its Day In The Sun

Add Wayfair to the list of retailers hoping to carve their own special day out of the retail calendar.

Just as Amazon has Prime Day, Alibaba has Singles Day, and the Home Depot and Lowe’s have Spring Black Friday, Wayfair wants its fans to celebrate Way Day, a shopping event offering steep discounts, free shipping and triple rewards for Wayfair credit card holders.

As part of the event, scheduled for April 25, the Boston-based e-commerce site is also planning activations in eight cities, including Hinesville, Ga.

“We are looking to put a new retail holiday on the map that celebrates home,” says Steve Oblak, chief merchandising officer, in the announcement. “Spring is the season when our customers are especially focused on sprucing up and furnishing outdoor spaces in anticipation of warm weather and summer entertaining. Many are also readying their homes for sale or moving into new ones.”



Wayfair, which also owns Joss & Main and Birch Lane, is looking to keep its sales momentum rolling. In its most recent quarterly results, revenue jumped 48% to $1.42 billion, by offering a fast-changing mix of some 10 million items for the home to its 11 million active customers, and novel ways — including augmented reality apps — to buy them.

But despite those blistering sales gains, observers say Wayfair is still hindered by inflated expenses, spending heavily to add technology, people and distribution centers.

“In our opinion, Wayfair’s spending to position the business competitively should improve margin capture over time as the business scales via market share gains,” writes Jaime M. Katz, who covers the company for Morningstar, but adds that the timing of its expenses, especially in advertising, may lead to “lumpy” earnings.

On the plus side, she notes its entry into the home-appliance business, now dominated by the Home Depot and Lowe’s, and that its stepped-up ad spending will boost awareness and visibility. 

Meanwhile, Wayfair’s brand is getting an increasing amount of exposure in different venues: the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments this week in arguments in South Dakota vs. Wayfair, a case that is expected to have broad-reaching implications for sales tax and e-commerce companies.

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