Wayfair’s first brick-and-mortar store opened Wednesday at the Natick Mall, and it’s offering a shopping experience straight out of the future.
The Boston-based e-commerce giant touts its mission as “reinventing the way people shop for their homes.” It has made a name for itself online for having, well, everything.
The store offers 14 million home goods across five platforms.
And while the new physical store might not appear to have the inventory of the online store, the company says its new physical locations will blend seamlessly with the online experience.
Shoppers at the new store can see how furniture would look in a space using virtual reality headsets, The Boston Globe reported. Product information screens, which show ratings and prices, update in real time. And store employees can show customers different variations of furniture offered in-store by simply taking a photo and waiting for more options to pop up, the newspaper reported.
At the new store, shoppers can immediately purchase some products and place orders to have others delivered to their homes, according to a press release. The release said the store would also be staffed with design experts ready to offer advice and give consultations.
As the Globe’s Janelle Nanos wrote, retailers are describing this crossover concept as “omnichannel.” Nanos said the strategy of bringing online sales into a physical space allows stores to “act as billboards for the brands.”
Wayfair is also planning to open a few pop-up shops later this summer as it has done in the past, the release said.
Here’s a look inside the Natick store: