Look inside Wayfair’s first physical store

By April Berthene

May 23, 2024
Wayfair opens its first physical store

After 16 years of selling billions of dollars worth of home furnishings online, Wayfair Inc. opened a flagship physical store today in Wilmette, Illinois.

The store, located in the Chicago suburbs, carries roughly 12,000 products, a fraction of the millions Wayfair sells online. Wayfair selected items featuring a variety of styles and price points to showcase the breadth of its product offerings, said Liza Lefkowski, vice president, curation, brands and stores.

“We’re very excited about bringing the online experience to the offline world. We really have this vision of creating homes for every style and every budget,” said Wayfair co-founder Steve Conine at the grand opening ceremony.

Wayfair co-founders Niraj Shah and Steve Conine cut the ribbon the home furnishings brand's first physical location.
Wayfair co-founders Niraj Shah and Steve Conine cut the ribbon at the home furnishings brand’s first physical location.

The 150,000-square-foot store is two levels, featuring smaller home goods that shoppers can purchase and bring home with that day, and larger furniture products that they can buy and then later pick up at the store or have it shipped for free to their homes.

The Wayfair store does not allow for the traditional omnichannel service buy online, pick up in store, Lefkowski said.

The tags in the store display the item’s price and a QR code that shoppers can scan with their phone to display the item on Wayfair’s website. There, shoppers can review even more details about the item, such as product reviews and comments. The store has a few interactive features, such as working faucets, vacuums to demo, as well as a cafe and design services.

Wayfair's first physical store showcases a variety of styles and price points.

“It brings the brand to life in a way that you can’t do online,” Lefkowski said.

While online sales have steadily grown over the past decade, still roughly 80% of U.S. retail sales occur in stores, according to industry estimates. And Wayfair is not the first digitally native brand to want to grow its revenue with physical stores. Amazon, Warby Parker and Allbirds all launched their brands online and then later opened physical stores.

Wayfair currently operates eight smaller physical stores for its brands Joss & Main, Birch Lane and All Modern. In the past, Wayfair has opened other physical pop-up locations for its namesake brand, but this is the first time it’s opened a larger format store. As a national brand, there may be more stores to come in the future, Lefkowski said. But first, Wayfair will learn from the physical store in Wilmette to see how shoppers respond to it, she said.

A Wayfair employee greets shoppers at the grand opening. 

A Wayfair employee sets up a vacuum demonstration.
A Wayfair employee sets up a vacuum demonstration.

The store adds 200-plus jobs to Wilmette, said village president Senta Plunkett.

“The store will be a major economic engine to Wilmette,” Plunkett said at the grand opening ceremony.

Wayfair generated $12.0 billion in net revenue in 2023.