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Online furniture giant Wayfair to open its first physical store this fall

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Online retail goes offline

green sofa in living room
A sofa for sale on Wayfair.com, but will it make it into the brand’s first physical store?
Wayfair

Wayfair, the something-for-everyone furniture website, is a distinctly online experience. Its stock is Amazonian in breadth with more than 14 million products to choose from.

That hasn’t stopped it from going where so many new direct-to-consumer brands have recently gone: to brick and mortar. The company recently announced that it would be opening its first physical retail store in Natick, Massachusetts, in fall 2019.

As Fast Company reports, the brand has little need for physical expansion. Last year, the retailer sold $6.8 billion worth of furniture, and all of that was online. But there does seem to be an opportunity in bringing furniture, which is inherently tactile, closer to consumers.

Like Ikea’s new small-format stores in city centers, the brick-and-mortar Wayfair experience will focus on providing customers with design advice and the ability to order items on the spot for in-home delivery. The store is going to be small at 3,400 square feet, which is just enough for a tiny sliver of the company’s inventory.

What does it this mean for people who are used to the endless variety of the online experience? Hopefully more curation and less aimless clicking.