May 15, 2024 - News

What to expect at Wayfair store in Wilmette

Inside of store with dining tables, chairs and counters

Inside the new Wayfair store in Wilmette. Photo: Moyo Adeolu/Axios

Wayfair's first brick and mortar store is opening next week at Edens Plaza in Wilmette, and we got a preview.

Why it matters: The Boston-based online furniture retailer moving into a physical space is a sign that shoppers want to have a complete experience rather than buy everything online.

  • The store is occupying the former Carson Pirie Scott building and could help revamp the shopping mall, which a spokesperson for developer WS hinted at by telling Axios: "There's lots more to come, and we look forward to sharing details in the months ahead!"

Catch up quick: Wayfair is the umbrella company for several home decorating brands, including AllModern, Perigold and Birch Lane, which collectively generated $12 billion in revenue last year.

What to expect: The 150,000-square-foot, two-floor store features vignettes of every room in the house, separated by style, such as modern, glam and Bohemian.

  • Designers are available for free consultations and can send shoppers home with a design plan.
  • There's also a cafe with coffee, salads and other bites.
  • Wayfair offers free delivery on all items.
A row of faucets under a sign reading "Find your faucet"
A "faucet bar" at Wayfair. Photo: Carrie Shepherd/Axios

The vibe: Wayfair is leaning into its "Welcome to the Wayborhood" slogan and features touches of Chicago — from an exterior mural to framed art of Michigan Avenue and other local icons throughout the store.

  • And a scent of fresh cut grass and laundry is very purposefully wafting through.
A rainbow burst wall behind bunk beds, a desk, yellow chair and rainbow burst rug.
A sample kids room. Photo: Carrie Shepherd/Axios

Between the lines: Wayfair reps say they aren't trying to compete directly with Chicago-based Crate & Barrel and CB2, but they're exploring features those stores offer, including wedding registries.

What they're saying: "We don't expect or want customers to be one channel or another to come to store only or go on site only. If they want to come to the store and they scan a few items and they add them to their list," Wayfair vice president Liza Lefkowski says.

  • "This should be the brand coming to life in a really visual, really tactile and really fun way."

What's next: Wayfair opens May 23 with a block party featuring games and giveaways.


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