Wayfair all in omnichannel; The new AllModern store sets a new strategic pace

AllModern’s new face to the public.

BOSTON — With the first physical store for Wayfair’s AllModern brand in Lynfield, Massachusetts, the e-commerce giant plans to use physical retail locations as a gateway to the broader Wayfair ecosystem.

According to the company, it builds on the online shopping experience and complements it with the company’s logistics infrastructure that underpins both. Wayfair plans to “test and learn” from these sites and continue improving its offering and strategy going forward.

The new AllModern store offers 10,000 square feet of space where a 7,500 square foot frontage house features approximately 10% of AllModern’s online offerings for customers to see and experience in real life.

Wayfair chose Lynnfield based on a variety of factors, including convenience and accessibility for its customers, according to the company.

With AllModern’s statement “Good design is the standard for all, not a luxury for the few”, the company strives to be a provider of modern design through an integrated system of sales channels, to meet customers in their purchasing and design journey.

“We are excited to offer our customers the very best in modern design along with an incredibly simple shopping experience, something that has never been done before,” noted Rena Pearson, President of AllModern. “Our store has been intentionally designed to be warm and inviting, with everyone feeling welcome, reflecting our belief that good design is the standard for all, not a luxury for the few.

“With AllModern’s first physical store, we invite new customers to learn about our brand and deepen relationships with existing customers as they have the opportunity to get to know us in real life.”

AllModern Message

Signs at the store’s entrance read, “Hello, welcome,” underlining AllModern’s casual welcome and modern vibe. With polished concrete floors and floor-to-ceiling windows, the shop has a modern, industrial feel.

Small posters of the single room feature furniture, rugs, artwork, accessories, and plants throughout the store, with vertical floor-to-ceiling wood dividers that help separate the spaces. Coordinating touches of the home are collected with every little plaid in the display shelves such as pillows, tables and vases for the living spaces and plates and linens for the dining areas.

The store is currently set for summer, features outdoor furniture at the entrance, and is expected to change seasonal produce to refresh the selling floor.

technology resources

Throughout the store, all products have banners that include a QR code. Once customers download the AllModern app, they can scan product QR codes to see online reviews, availability, and photos. The app allows customers to save designs to their favorites list and add products to their online shopping cart. If the product is out of stock, the app will offer a variety of best-selling options similar to the one in the store.

Flat screen displays throughout the store display product images, shopping instructions, and decorating instructions.

Customers can use the QR code on the back of each fabric swatch to find out what other products are available in that fabric if the customer doesn’t like the one offered in the store. In addition, all fabric samples are scanned when customers are given these to bring home so that samples are automatically re-ordered to the store.

In the center of the store is the “Design Bar” where colleagues can help shoppers with collaboration and visual design. Fabric and rug samples are available for in-person viewing, and the store offers free design services as well as free product delivery and product assembly and installation. Fabric swatches have information on the back of the card to go deeper into the product through a QR code.

In order to enhance customer engagement, AllModern’s interior design studio receives clients or meetings by scheduling an appointment. Store partners can create a mood board for customers’ design reference and provide tear sheets for products.

physical retail reality

As part of its renewed brick-and-mortar strategy, Wayfair plans to open an additional AllModern store at Legacy Place, a similar open center in Dedham, Massachusetts, later this year.

The mall is operated by WS Development, the Boston-based real estate developer that owns the Lynnefield property. WS Development is a retail-led mixed-use development company, one of the largest privately owned developers in the country with more than 20 million square feet under management and an additional 7 million square feet under development.

Working with WS Development, Wayfair plans to open an additional 152,000 square foot Wayfair brand store in Wilmette, Ill. , in Edens Plaza in mid-2023. The two-story building was once a Carson Pirie Scott store.

Wayfair will open a Joss & Main store on Burlington Mall (Simon’s estate) in Burlington, Massachusetts, later this year, with additional Wayfair, Birch Lane and Perigold stores to follow over the next two years, according to the company.

There have also been reports that the former 100,000-square-foot JC Penney store in the King of Prussia Mall will be developed by WS Development with Wayfair as a tenant. Wayfair declined to comment on the potential new store.

Previous forays into a brick-and-mortar space by Wayfair have included a pop-up store at Natick Mall in Natick, Massachusetts, (10 miles from Wayfair’s Boston headquarters) and Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, NJ, in November and December 2018 .

The company opened a 3,700-square-foot Wayfair-branded store in Natick Mall that had the bad luck of opening in August 2019, several months before COVID-19 erupted into a full-blown pandemic. The company closed the store in December 2020.

Bring in heavy hitters

Perhaps the difference in Wayfair’s renewed expansion to physical stores is that, this time around, the project is led by three key employees who come from the luxury retail and retail sectors. Together, these executives bring experience in leadership, operations, marketing, merchandising, strategy, and data analytics from outside the Wayfair bubble.

Karen McKibben, Global Head of Retail at Wayfair, is a retail expert with over 30 years who began her career at Nordstrom in 1985. McKibben has held various leadership positions at Nordstrom including most recently as President of Nordstrom Rack. Additionally, she was the chairperson of Nordstrom Canada. McKibben started Wayfair in February 2022.

Todd Brisky, general manager of specialty retail, Wayfair Inc. He is responsible for overseeing the physical retailing of Wayfair’s specialty retail brands since October 2020. His previous experience includes COO of Ascend Wellness Holdings and CEO and Managing Director of Barbershop, a Procter & Gamble company. He also held earlier marketing management positions at Procter & Gamble.

Rina Pearson, President of AllModern, started Wayfair in February 2021. Someone came from Chanel, where she was head of retail for the luxury fragrance and beauty company and head of strategy and customer analytics for Chanel’s fashion division. The person has also held stints as Vice President of Marketing at Marc Jacobs and Global Director of Marketing at Levi Strauss & Co.

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