An interesting trend we are closely watching, is the growing list of direct-to-consumer retailers that started their businesses online and are now adopting physical stores to reach new shoppers, boost profits, and drive brand awareness.  

One retailer who plans to hit the ground running, opening three stores in Massachusetts this year, is Wayfair. They had tremendous success in 2020 with consumers wanting to enhance their homes during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Wayfair’s sales rose 55% from 2019 to $14.1 billion. However, over the past few quarters they have seen a drop in sales. Their new strategy is to open brick-and-mortar locations so that people can touch and feel their products. With their stores opening this year, it will be interesting to see how their strategy impacts the bottom line. 

Popular eyewear brand Warby Parker is an example of having success with this model. With 161 stores open by the end of 2021, they hope to eventually grow to have 900 stores. Warby Parker co-founder and co-CEO Dave Gilboa told analysts in November that its stores are “highly productive.” Each location makes back its investment in less than 20 months after it opens,” he said. 

“We deliberately design our stores to serve as billboards and have found them to be highly effective in driving brand awareness, new customer acquisition and in serving our existing customer base,” exclaimed Gilboa. 

With many businesses in today’s retail environment starting out online, it is interesting to see the shift to open physical stores and confirms how important it is for consumers to be able to physically see, touch and feel a product before buying. We are excited to watch this trend into 2022 and the beyond! 

To read more, click the link: Why retail store closures are slowing down after a Covid shakeout (