Not a member yet? Register now and get started.

lock and key

Sign in to your account.

Account Login

Forgot your password?

Wayfair Idea Proposal (W)

Wayfair Idea Proposal (W)

Will Wayfair’s larger-than-expected losses continue or will the company’s sales growth move it toward profitability?

Report Available: March 28, 2018


Blueshift’s initial research found W disappointing with a larger-than-expected loss in its most recent quarter, despite strong revenue and sales growth. This only furthers questions about the company’s ability to be profitable. W also faces challenges from competitors like AMZN’s furniture seller program and Ikea’s move to provide independent contractors to build its furniture once customers get it to their homes.



  1. W’s Q4 earnings missed expectations, disappointing with a larger-than-expected loss. Revenue beat consensus, up 46% year to year. Active customers climbed 33%, orders per customer were higher than a year ago with orders from repeat customers growing at twice the rate of orders from new customers. Average order value was higher year to year, but lower sequentially, a seasonal trend based on lower-ticket holiday purchases. The company expects higher advertising spending in Q1.
  2. W’s loss reinforced questions of whether the company will ever make money or if it has a plan for achieving profitability. Concerns also persist that furniture and home goods cannot thrive in an online-only environment such as W’s.
  3. AMZN’s furniture seller program designed to help furniture stores participate on the AMZN marketplace while specifying zip codes for their listings and enabling retailers to adjust prices based on added services is progressing slowly. AMZN said it is refining the service and scaling it to expand in major cities, but gave no further details on timing or location. AMZN recently launched Amazon Home, allowing customers to shop by room with an emphasis on larger furniture and appliances. It also has had immense success using big data to drive sales of housewares and presumably can apply this to furniture purchases as well.
  4. Creating more competition for W, Ikea will be rolling out a service nationwide over the next few months based on its acquisition of TaskRabbit where users can hire temporary workers to assemble their Ikea furniture when they get it home. These workers can be hired through the TaskRabbit app or website, as well as directly in an Ikea store after making a purchase.
  5. Blueshift’s July 17, 2017, report found suppliers positive about their relationships and sales with W, which supports the bull thesis on the company. They said W is easy to work with, has an effective advertising program, is expanding its customer base and retaining existing patrons, provides on-time payments, adheres to minimum advertised price and is experiencing increasing orders and sales. However, W partners, advertising agencies and industry specialists interviewed by Blueshift leaned bearish on the company. Only one of these nine sources thought W could achieve profitability. These sources also cited such challenges for W as poor relations with carriers, limited branding opportunities for suppliers and manufacturers, low margins, high shipping and return costs, and limited innovation. AMZN’s furniture seller program was expected to pose the biggest threat to W.


What are sales trends for W suppliers? How does W compare to other furniture selling companies? Why do suppliers choose to work with W? How much time does it take suppliers to get paid by W? Would suppliers switch to a different company if they could? What does W need to do to achieve profitability? How likely is W to achieve profitability? What does AMZN’s commitment to furniture sales mean for W and its suppliers? If this is lining up to be another turf war between AMZN and WMT, how will it affect W? What are companies seeing in the way of W returns and excess inventory? What is W doing to improve its return from advertising spending? To answer these and other questions, Blueshift will gather data and issue a market research report from independent sources in the following areas: Wayfair suppliers, Wayfair partners, Advertising agencies, and Industry specialists.


Companies: Wayfair Inc. (W), (AMZN), Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA), Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY), Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST), Inc. (OSTK), Container Store Group Inc. (TCS), Target Corp. (TGT), Walmart Inc. (WMT)


Research Begins: March 12, 2018


Are you aware Intro-act, our corporate access solution, is part of the Blueshift Research ecosystem? To learn more, go