• Jennifer Marks

Wayfair: We’re not naïve about Amazon

Niraj Shah discusses competition at Piper Jaffray Consumer Conference

niraj shahNiraj Shah
New York – Wayfair yesterday argued it has advantages over Amazon in their battle for the growing online home furnishings business.

“Amazon wants to be the dominant [retailer] in every category of physical goods, make no mistake about that,” Wayfair co-chairman and co-ceo Niraj Shah told analysts here yesterday. “Home is on the list of the many things they want to do.”

The challenge for Amazon is that it has a lengthy roster of priorities, he said at the Piper Jaffray Consumer Conference.

“Are they going to make [winning home] a higher priority than fresh? A higher priority than Prime? A higher priority than Prime Video? A higher priority than India?” he asked.

Wayfair derives 45% of its revenue from exclusive and private brands that can’t be found on Amazon, he noted. And while Amazon specializes in delivering small packages, Wayfair is developing a furniture delivery system. Shah also argued that Wayfair has created a superior online environment for shopping home merchandise.

“We’re not naïve to Amazon being the primary competitor we have,” he said. “They’ll continue to get share in this category just because of how big they are.”

However, he expects that over time the online share of the home furnishings market is going to become concentrated on two sites. “I think us and Amazon are going to take that share.”

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See the September 2017 issue of Home & Textiles Today. In this issue, we look at the Attack of the Killer Third Tier: Monster off-pricers are climbing to the top of the food chain, plus New Products: 40 pages of new products debuting at the New York Home Fashions Market; Home Stores: TJX unveils first U.S. HomeSense store; Clicks to Bricks: Boll & Branch moves from digital to physical retailing; and much more... See details!