Are you in the process of renovating your house? Or perhaps, looking for new furniture to sprouse up your new home?
If so, Wayfair is likely to come up at the top of your Google search! Formally known as CSN Stores, the American e-commerce store sells furniture and home products delivered to your door. In fact, it is one of the largest online-only home goods retailers in America, with over 16,000 employees and more than 33 million active customers.
So, if you’re wondering, Who Owns Wayfair? Then it’s time to find out…
- Is Wayfair Only In The United States?
- How Did Wayfair Begin?
- Niraj Shah
- Steve Conine
- Who Owns Wayfair – Wayfair’s Humble Beginnings
- Wayfair’s Successes
- Top Successes Of Wayfair To Date
- Facts About Wayfair
- Wayfair Customer Trends
- Looking For A Job In Home Improvement?
- Who Owns Wayfair – Final Thoughts
Is Wayfair Only In The United States?
A large part of the business is based in the United States, along with the customer base. In fact, 80% of Wayfair’s net revenues are generated in the states.
However, they do operate outside the states. And due to the success of the domestic market, it decided to expand its business. In 2007 they began selling in other countries such as the UK, Germany, Canada, and Ireland. The company offers over 14 million products from over 11,000 global suppliers.
How Did Wayfair Begin?
The company was founded by Niraj Shah and Steve Conine in 2002 and is based in Boston, Massachusetts. Both of them were good friends and former college roommates. They noticed that in the early 2000s, people were more open to buying furniture online, and more options were popping up in the market.
Within a few years, the duo began creating websites selling all things furniture, from bar stools to birdhouses. They were running around 250 websites at the time. Eventually, they consolidated the sites, which finally became what we know today as Wayfair.
Known in the business world as a very successful entrepreneur. He is a billionaire with an interesting back story. His upbringing may be familiar to some but completely different to others.
Shah’s family emigrated from India to the United States. As a young child, he grew up in Pittsfield. Massachusetts. His grandfather was an entrepreneur himself and ran a steel manufacturing business in India, creating pots and pans.
Entrepreneurial skills came relatively easy to Shah. It’s reported as a young child that he would mow his neighbor’s lawns and deliver papers to make some extra pocket money. Shah went on to study at Cornell University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering in 1995.
His friendship With Conine
Shah and Conine have been working together since, believe it or not, High School. Their friendship started long before Wayfair was even a business idea. The pair first met during a high school visit to Cornell University, where perhaps luckily, they both chose to attend.
Once their engineering course began, the two became inseparable. They even became roommates. The two then began to create e-commerce websites and started a small IT company called Spinners.
Spinners was based on a business plan they created for a class assignment that they followed through and then sold to the global tech firm iXL. This was only the beginning of their success and their journey to becoming American billionaires.
When asked how their friendship managed to withstand the test of time, they told NPR’s “How I Built This” that the relationship has been so strong and successful because of the two important traits that they hold – hard work and dedication. Both believe these are very important when looking for a long-term business partner.
Shah also puts his money towards things to help the community. Niraj and his wife co-founded The Shah Family Foundation to support local healthcare programs and education. A big step for them was to provide children with healthy lunches at school.
Successes Before Wayfair
Success didn’t just begin with Wayfair. As previously stated, Spinners was a successful company. In August 2002, Shah created a website called racksandstands.com. This proved to be his first successful business reaching profits of $250,000 by December.
Shah noticed a gap in the market for entertainment furniture such as television and speaker stands, so this is how it was created. While listed under a different name, racks and stands eventually turned into Wayfair selling similar products.
Forbes 400 Member
In 2018 Shah joined the likes of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos on the Forbes 400 list. The report, which is published annually, documents the richest Americans in the country. To make the impressive list, you must have a net worth of at least $2.1 billion.
Conine grew up in New Jersey. While he was young, he was already involved in the furniture business, where he worked in the furniture stores his mother operated. He moved to New York and studied at Cornell University, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering in 1995.
Conine has made it no secret that he is very much interested in the technological sides of his business. In a previous interview, he stated that Shah is interested in the evolution and business practices while the technology fascinates him. He created much of the systems that Wayfair has in place to date.
Forbes 400 Member
Just like his good pal Niraj Shah, Conine entered the Forbes 400 list in 2018.
Who Owns Wayfair – Wayfair’s Humble Beginnings
Wayfair came from very humble beginnings. They were inspired by a lady they saw selling from her own garage. She would package goods and take them to the post office herself. This led them to believe there was a market online for these kinds of products.
They now have a company with over 11,000 suppliers and 33 million customers; it’s surely impressive. Many of their online business ideas started in Steve’s basement, and it’s evolved into something bigger and greater than they could probably have imagined.
Every company’s success comes from hard-working individuals with innovative ideas. They must have a positive attitude and never give up. Conine once said that if you begin a start-up, you must put every single bit of effort into it. Never believe it will fail, and always stay positive.
From the original idea, which spanned over 250 websites selling home goods, Shah decided it was time to put all of them together and create one website; this is what became Wayfair.
Raising The Funds
They raised around $200 million for their funds from four Boston-area venture capital firms – Spark Capital, Great Hill Partners, Battery Ventures, and HarbourVest Partners. In 2003 they began offering garden goods to their customers.
They also relocated their business headquarters to a bigger office in Massachusetts. In 2011, the businessmen opened a low-price home goods website named Joss & Main. This was a more affordable website for people with a tighter budget.
By September 2012, Wayfair had launched a TV marketing campaign which saw their brand awareness increase from 6% to 27% over the year.
Top Successes Of Wayfair To Date
- The firm has achieved a hundred million dollar revenue level by 2006.
- The Boston Business Journal named them the fastest-growing private e-commerce company in Massachusetts in 2008.
- It was also named the fourth fastest-growing private corporation in the United States.
- Wayfair’s stock surged to more than $70 per share, making both Shah and Conine billionaires. Both had an estimated net worth of $2.3 billion as of 2019.
- For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021, the business achieved $15.3 billion in net sales.
Facts About Wayfair
High Marketing Costs
Wayfair reportedly spent $1 billion on advertising in 2019. Wayfair’s marketing costs are so high because they don’t have any physical stores. Wayfair did have a store in Florence, Kentucky, but it is temporarily closed.
Wayfair has the technological skills to reach its target audience. When they started out, they used paid ads through Google and Yahoo and used track word searches so they could be found easily. Now known as SEO (search engine optimization), to make sure you appear at the top during a google search.
They Only Operate Online
Unlike most furniture stores which have showrooms available for the public to try out and see things in person, Wayfair operates entirely online. This means you have to rely on images and information about the product before you buy it.
Expanded Internationally in 2008
Although founded in 2002, Wayfair expanded overseas in 2008. Still, most customers are based in the states, but they have a big presence in the UK and Germany too.
The Fastest Growing E-Commerce website in the USA
Although Wayfair comes third behind Amazon and QVC for the number of sales they make, the rate the company has grown is a clear winner. No other e-commerce company has seen or experienced such a high level of growth in such a short period of time.
Because the website is solely online, many of the workforce work remotely. This means many of them are virtual employees working from wherever they want but with specific hours.
Wayfair Customer Trends
An active customer is considered a person who has purchased from a business within a 12-month period. There has been a steady increase in customers who purchased items from Wayfair. And in just four to five years, the customer base has increased by more than 15 million. More customers obviously mean more revenue and profits for the business.
Next, let’s take a look at their…
Average Order Value
This tracks the amount of money spent each time a customer makes an order on the website. To figure out the number, the company must divide the company’s total revenue by the number of orders placed by the customers. The company’s orders rose by over 18x in three to four years.
The increasing average order value shows that the company continues to grow year on year.
Looking For A Job In Home Improvement?
Well, that’s great because we have a selection of stores for you to choose from! So, check out my Home Depot Application and the most common Home Depot Interview Questions, or how about my Lowes Application and common Lowes Interview Questions, as well as my Orchard Supply Hardware Application and Ace Hardware Application, in 2023.
If you’re still studying or in school, you’ll need to check up on How Old Do You Have To Be To Work At Home Depot and How Old Do You Have To Be To Work At Lowes to make sure you reach the age requirements.
Who Owns Wayfair – Final Thoughts
According to Statista, Wayfair employs 16,122 employees as of 2020. The company has a revenue of 14.145 billion, and both the entrepreneurs who began the company have landed themselves on the Fortune 500 list.
From a company that began as several online websites to target specific markets, to now being one of the largest online home retail stores, they’ve really found a niche that people want. The company continues to grow year on year, and both Conine and Shah put emphasis on advertising and achieving more success by gaining more customers.
Wayfair will continue to be a highly trusted furniture brand that can deliver the needs of most clientele.
Good luck, and enjoy shopping at Wayfair!