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Online retailer Wayfair to sell pre-designed sets of home furnishings

09/25/2019

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Online retailer Wayfair announced Wednesday that it has begun selling curated collections of furnishings for entire rooms, which the company believes will appeal to everyone from property managers to short-term rental owners.

Wayfair calls the new program “All-Set Rooms,” and it is available now to members of the company’s business program, Wayfair Professional. According to a company statement, people using All-Set Rooms “can instantly purchase complete furnishings and fixtures for pre-designed rooms in just a few clicks.” The idea is to make “shopping for businesses simpler, faster, and more convenient.”

The furnishing collections are designed to cater to the needs of specific industries. So, for example, Wayfair created designs that are meant to help property managers stage units and execute upgrades between tenants, among other things.

A screenshot showing several different offerings that are available as part of All-Set Rooms. Credit: Wayfair

Wayfair, in a statement to Inman, argues that All-Set Rooms could be useful for short-term rental owners or contractors who want to deploy a pre-designed bathroom across multiple units

Users of the program can also swap items in and out of the designs if they want to customize the final product.

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Wayfair Professional vice president Margaret Lawrence said in the company’s statement Wednesday that the program “dramatically speeds up the selection and ordering process while eliminating the worry of whether a room has a cohesive look.”

“It allows businesses to focus on what they do best: running their business and serving their customers,” Lawrence added.

All-Set Rooms interface. Credit: Wayfair

Wayfair Professional is a membership program geared toward business clients. Joining the program is free and open to anyone regardless of the industry or size of their company. Wayfair said in its statement that members get “an expansive selection of products and exclusive savings across thousands of top brands as well as customizable shipping, easy invoicing, dedicated service and more.”

Boston-based Wayfair was founded in 2002 and has since grown into an online retail behemoth. The company owns a handful of other brands, including Joss & Main and Birch Lane among others, and said that it generated $8 billion in net revenue between July 2018 and June 2019.

Wayfair is well-known among consumers for its dizzying array of homewares, though it also recently made headlines when employees walked off the job to protest the company’s involvement in supplying furniture for border camps.

The decision on Wayfair’s part to wade into the furnishing curation space represents a kind of trend among real estate and real estate-adjacent firms. The trend includes the launch of an interior design program from management firm Vacasa and the growth of virtual staging technologies from companies GeoCV. Though each of these services is fundamentally different, they all promise to in some way simplify the otherwise laborious process of furnishing a property that’s headed to market.

And of course, the growth of these design services also hints at the broader explosion of short-term renting — an industry pioneered by Airbnb — and other kinds of real estate investment.

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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