Wayfair joins a growing group of former pure-play online retailers now opening stores.

Wayfair Inc. announced this week that it is opening a physical store in Natick, Massachusetts, in fall 2019.

This is the first “full-service” physical store Wayfair will open. It is in the same location, Natick Mall, in which it operated a pop-up shop during the 2018 holiday season. It also had a pop-up shop in New Jersey during the 2018 holiday season. The home goods retailer also operates an outlet store that is connected to its Kentucky warehouse.

Wayfair.com sells 14 million items, and the store will likely only have a fraction of this amount. A Wayfair spokeswoman declined to say how many SKUs the store will have, only that the products are a “curated selection.” Shoppers can immediately purchase items in the store and bring them home, or have the orders placed for delivery. Wayfair says the store will be a “connected” experience, without revealing more, and it will have home design experts on hand for free design consultations for a shopper’s home project. The home furnishings giant also announced it will open four pop-ups shops in the late summer.

Wayfair is among several once web-only retailers now opening stores. Former online-only retailers that now have at least one store are:

  • Glossier Inc. (No. 175 Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000)
  • Allbirds (No. 996)
  • Thomas James LA by Perverse Sunglasses
  • Brilliant Earth LLC (No. 257)
  • AUrate New York
  • M. Gemi (No. 317)
  • Casper (No. 132)
  • UNTUCKit (No. 405)
  • Indochino Inc. (No. 552)
  • Everlane Inc. (No. 282)
  • Boll & Branch (No. 562)
  • The RealReal Inc. (No. 184)
  • Adore Me Inc. (No. 308)
  • Warby Parker (No. 174)
  • Amazon.com Inc. (No. 1)
  • Birchbox Inc. (No. 204)
  • Rent the Runway Inc. (No. 252)
  • Bonobos
  • Greats
  • Vistaprint
  • Frank and Oak
  • Brika
  • evo (No. 714)
  • CandyWarehouse.com
  • ModCloth (owned by Walmart Inc., No. 3)

The online housewares/home furnishings category, which comprises 109 online merchants, was the fastest-growing category in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 1000, with online sales soaring 29.7% in 2017, according to Internet Retailer estimates and company reports. That significantly exceeds the 18.5% year-over-year ecommerce sales growth for all Top 1000 merchants in 2017.

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However, the lion’s share of sales for the housewares/home furnishings category is offline. Internet Retailer estimates that in 2017, only 15.6% of the category’s sales were online. Plus, an Internet Retailer and Bizrate Insights consumer survey in 2018 finds that 47.5% of shoppers say they prefer to purchase household items in a store rather than online.

Wayfair is No. 13 in the Internet Retailer 2018 Top 500.

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