Wayfair Inc. is an American e-commerce company based in Boston, Massachusetts that sells furniture and home goods online. Formerly known as CSN Stores, it was founded in 2002, and currently offers 14 million items from more than 11,000 global suppliers. It has offices and warehouses throughout the United States and in Canada, Germany, Ireland, China and the United Kingdom.
|Formerly||CSN Stores (2002–2011)|
|NYSE: W (Class A)|
Russell 1000 Component
|Headquarters||4 Copley Place|
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Niraj Shah (co-chairman, president & CEO)|
Steve Conine (co-chairman)
|Revenue||US$13.71 billion (2021)|
|US$ −94 million (2021)|
|US$ −131 million (2021)|
|Total assets||US$ 4.57 billion (2021)|
|Total equity||US$ −1.62 billion (2021)|
Number of employees
|Footnotes / references|
2002 to 2006 edit
Entrepreneurs Niraj Shah and Steve Conine founded Wayfair in August 2002 as a two-person company with a makeshift headquarters in Conine's nursery in Boston, Massachusetts. Both Shah and Conine hold a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University, and had run two previous companies: Simplify Mobile, and iXL, a global consulting firm.
Originally known as CSN Stores (derived from a combination of Shah and Conine's initials), the company began with the website racksandstands.com, selling media stands and storage furniture.
Over the next two years, it expanded its catalog to include home décor; office, institutional, and kitchen and dining furniture and materials; home improvement goods; bed and bath materials; luggage and lighting. In 2006, it had $100 million in sales.
2007 to 2010 edit
The company expanded in the United States and into international markets.
In 2008, CSN Stores began shipping to Canada and selling in the United Kingdom, and opened a London office. The Boston Business Journal ranked it the #1 fastest-growing private e-commerce company in Massachusetts, and the #4 fastest-growing private company overall.
In 2009, it expanded to Germany. In 2010, it relocated its headquarters to 177 Huntington Avenue, where they occupied 10 floors. At the end of that year, it launched Joss & Main, a members-only online store.
2011 to 2019 edit
By 2011, CSN Stores owned over 200 online shops—largely niche shops for specific products, like cookware.com, everyatomicclock.com, and strollers.com. In an effort to scale, direct traffic to a single site, and unify the company aesthetic, Shah and Conine rebranded CSN Stores as Wayfair (a name chosen by a branding firm, with no other meaning).
To market its new brand and continue its expansion, in June 2011 the company raised $165 million in funding from the investment firms Battery Ventures, Great Hill Partners, HarbourVest Partners and Spark Capital.
Wayfair.com launched on September 1, 2011. As of July 2012, it had consolidated all of its niche websites, with the exception of Joss & Main and AllModern, into Wayfair.com. In August 2012, it launched Wayfair Supply, a single destination for Wayfair's business, government and institutional customers. In August 2013, it acquired DwellStudio, a New York City-based design house and retailer focused on modern home and family furnishings.
In late June 2014, the company again relocated its headquarters, this time to 4 Copley Place, about a block from its previous headquarters. It also opened two satellite offices in the surrounding area.
In October 2014, Wayfair raised over $300 million through an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol W. In July 2015, it sold its Australian business to local online retailer Temple & Webster for an undisclosed amount. The brand was renamed Zizo and later absorbed into the Temple & Webster business.
As of January 2014[update], Wayfair was the largest online-only retailer for home furniture in the United States, and the 33rd largest online retailer in the United States. It generated $380 million in revenue in 2010, over $500 million in 2011, over $600 million in 2012, over $900 million in 2013, and over $1.3 billion in 2014. In 2015, its net revenue increased to $2.25 billion, to $3.4 billion in 2016 and to $4.7 billion in 2017.
Wayfair spent more than $500 million in advertising in 2017 and was on target to spend more in 2018.
In 2017, a South Dakota lawsuit aimed at forcing Wayfair to collect and pay state sales tax made it to the US Supreme Court, South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. The court held that states may charge tax on purchases made from out-of-state sellers, even if the seller does not have a physical presence in the taxing state.
The company hosted its first "Way Day" sale on April 25, 2018. Sales quadrupled compared to an average day in March, according to a report from analytics firm Edison Trends. The number of unique buyers on Way Day also rose nearly 400% compared to the March average, although the average order price spent on Way Day ($276) was about the same as in March ($275), according to that report.
According to an August 2018 article in The Boston Globe, Wayfair added an additional 2,000 employees in the first half of 2018, and the total number of employees approached 10,000. The company will be soon expanding to another building near Copley Square with office space for an additional 4,000 employees.
On December 13, 2018, the Massachusetts Economic Assistance Coordinating Council approved a $31.4 million tax break for Wayfair in exchange for a pledge to increase their hiring by at least 3,000 in Boston and 300 jobs at a new call center in Pittsfield. The tax break is one of the largest ever awarded by the state.
On March 26, 2019, Wayfair announced that its first permanent physical storefront would open in the Natick Mall in Natick, Massachusetts. The retailer had previously tested a few temporary pop-up storefronts during the 2018 holiday season, and confirmed plans to open four additional pop-up storefronts in 2019.
During participation on a business panel on September 19, 2019, CEO Niraj Shah was asked what Wayfair was looking for in new hires and he said the company was looking for employees who are talented and non-political. According to the Boston Business Journal Shah was quoted as saying, "We're generally just looking for people on two sets of criteria. One, it's just that … they're incredibly talented. They're intelligent, quantitative. Just that we think they have the raw material to really succeed and we feel confident. The second thing we look for — equally important — is the cultural fit. So we're bringing in non-political, you know, highly collaborative, just very driven and ambitious. There's a whole lot of cultural values that we think are important while we succeeded. We only hire (those candidates) who have these two sets; both kinds of traits for success." Later, when asked about Shah's comments in the article, Wayfair said in a statement that Shah's quote was "misinterpreted and inaccurately positioned in this story."
Employee walk-out edit
On June 25, 2019, Wayfair employees announced plans to walk out in protest of a BCFS contract to sell beds to temporary migrant detention camps in a letter to senior management, including Niraj Shah and Steve Conine. Wayfair leadership responded indicating they would not terminate the order, and did not indicate they would donate the profit from the order (approximately $86,000) to charity, as the letter requested. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez expressed her support for the employees and the walkout. On June 26, 2019, several hundred Wayfair employees walked out.
In late October 2019, the company announced it had hired 1,500 people in the last quarter, had a net loss of $272 million, and a revenue increase of 36 percent over the previous year.
On February 13, 2020, the company announced a layoff of 550 employees or about three percent of their global workforce. The headquarters in Boston accounted for 350 of those employees let go. Chief executive Shah notified employees in an e-mail saying, "On reflection this last period of investment went on too long . . . and we find ourselves at a place where we are, from an execution standpoint, investing in too many disparate areas, with an uneven quality and speed of execution." As of 2020, the company has yet to show a profitable quarter.
Wayfair won the 2020 Webby Award for Shopping in the category Apps, Mobile & Voice.
On August 19, 2022, CEO Niraj Shah penned a letter to employees notifying them that approximately 900 positions were to be laid off. Citing post-pandemic growth that "has not materialized as we had anticipated," Shah continues, "Our team is too large for the environment we are now in, and unfortunately we need to adjust."
Wayfair is facing losses and a stock shrinkage of 70% from the beginning of the year through August, and posted a loss of $378 million in Q2 of 2022. The CEO's letter notes severance packages of 10 weeks pay minimum to US-based employees. Those packages are expected to cost the company between $30 and $40 million.
Operations and infrastructure edit
Wayfair has over 12 million square feet of warehouse space in Europe and North America with a dozen fulfillment centers. As of 2019[update], the company offers 14 million products from 11,000 global suppliers. Wayfair employs over 2,300 engineers and data scientists and 3,000 customer service representatives in Boston; Berlin; Ireland; and other cities in the United States. The company expected to spend more than $1 billion in marketing and advertising in 2019.
Board of directors edit
|Niraj Shah||Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, Director (Co-Chairman)|
|Steven Conine||Co-Founder, Director (Co-Chairman)|
|Michael E. Sneed||Director|
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- "AllModern | All of modern, made simple". AllModern.
- "Birch Lane: Farmhouse & Traditional Furniture - Made to Last". Birch Lane.
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- "WayfairInsider: Status". Twitter.
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- "Wayfair 2015 Annual Report" (PDF). Wayfair.com. Wayfair, LLC. January 31, 2016. p. 49. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
- "Wayfair 2016 Annual Report" (PDF). Wayfair.com. Wayfair, LLC. January 31, 2017. p. 55. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
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- "Wayfair-2017-Annual-Report" (PDF).
- "Wayfair finds profits elusive as Q1 loss widens". Retail Dive. Retrieved May 2, 2018.
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- "Securities Litigation Against Wayfair Dismissed - Tech". 9 July 2020.
- Taylor, Kate (September 20, 2019). "Wayfair's CEO reportedly said he wants to hire 'non-political' employees 3 months after workers walked out to protest furnishing border camps". Business Insider. Retrieved September 20, 2019.
- Nanos, Janelle (June 25, 2019). "Wayfair employees plan walkout to oppose furniture sales to migrant detention facilities". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
- Shanker, Deena; Roeder, Jonathan (June 25, 2019). "Ocasio-Cortez Backs Wayfair Workers' Ire Over Border-Camp Sales". Bloomberg. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
- Ehrenkranz, Melanie (June 25, 2019). "Wayfair CEO Refuses to Stop Furnishing Concentration Camps: Report". Gizmodo. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
- Ivanova, Irina (June 26, 2019). "Wayfair employees walk out after company's sales to migrant children holding facility". CBS News. Retrieved June 26, 2019.
- Nanos, Janelle (February 13, 2020). "Wayfair lays off 550 employees, including 350 in Boston". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
- Kastrenakes, Jacob (20 May 2020). "Here are all the winners of the 2020 Webby Awards". The Verge. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
- Evon, Dan (July 10, 2020). "Is Wayfair Trafficking Children Via Overpriced Items?". Snopes.
- Whalen, Andrew (July 10, 2020). "Kids Shipped in Armoires? The Person Who Started the Wayfair Conspiracy Speaks". Newsweek.
- Spring, Marianna (2020-07-15). "Wayfair: The false conspiracy about a furniture firm and child trafficking". BBC News. Retrieved 2022-02-18.
- "Wayfair to open flagship store with a rooftop bar at King of Prussia Mall". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2022-06-13.
- "A Message from CEO and Co-Founder Niraj Shah". www.aboutwayfair.com. 19 August 2022. Retrieved 2022-08-25.
- "Wayfair is cutting 5% of its global workforce". edition.cnn.com. 19 August 2022. Retrieved 2022-08-25.
- "Wayfair Inc. – Investor Relations – Corporate Governance – Board of Directors". investor.wayfair.com. Retrieved April 12, 2019.
- Official website
- Business data for Wayfair: