With their "zillions of finds" and free delivery over $49, Wayfair is almost everybody's go-to home furnishings destination. Admit it: you've seen their commercial so many times, you can sing their theme song.
It was initially reported by the Boston Business Journal that Wayfair is in negotiations to take over a soon-to-be-closed Marshalls store, and potentially open a retail store there—a claim Wayfair's rep later denied.
But whether or not Wayfair is currently planning to open a brick-and-mortar location in Boston or anywhere, the question is: should they? By opening a physical showroom, the retailer would allow potential customers to spend some facetime with products they've admired online. That's the issue, isn't it? We find what looks like the perfect dining table, or loveseat, or shower curtain on a site, but it's hard commit to something when we can't tell the quality, or how it will actually look in our space.
So, a showroom will go a long way toward solving those problems. Walking in will let us see a piece in real life to check out the materials, see the true color, and get a better idea of the scale of it.
These challenges continue for everyone who makes a furniture purchase from an online store. The concept, that we might want to see a product before we click, remains. Other retailers, like Amazon, have opened stores, seeking to close the loop with their customers. In the meantime, that line between your favorite online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores is getting blurrier all the time.