3-2 Case Study: Can Wayfair Get Out of Its Own Way And Finally Become Profitable?

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Module Three:

Wayfair Case Introduction

Founded in 2002 in Boston, Massachusetts, Wayfa

ir Inc. (NYSE:W) engages in


commerce business in

the United States, Europe, and internationally. The company leverages over 10,000 suppliers to offer

approximately 10 million products for the home sector under various brands, including wayfair.com,

Joss & Main, AllModern, DwellStud

io, and Birchlane. The company operates in Ireland, the British Virgin


lands, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States,

and Germany, which represents about 13% of

gross revenues.

Wayfair had a highly successful IPO in 2014 on the New York Stock

Exchange and its market


apitalization continues to rise


as investors have driven share values from $36 to $149 from 2016 to Q3


Wayfair has aggressively focused its corporate strategic policy on growing its customer base and

product line breadth,


ncreasing revenue nearly 40 percent between 2017 and 2016 (Forbes, 2018)


However, to achieve that growth the company has incurred protracted losses and negative cash flow.

Presently, Wayfair is experiencing intensifying competitive attention from online a

nd offline rivals with

equally unique business models and distinctive competencies along the global industry value chain, such

as Ikea, Amazon, Walmart,

Overstock.com, Ethan Allen, and others.

Some analysts are beginning to wonder how long any business mo

del or firm should be allowed to

operate without being profitable. “

Wayfair’s rise to prominence is indicative of the

newer crop of tech


it still loses money every year, yet it has achieved its massive valuation largely because

investors currentl

y value growth over profitability” (Bizjournals.com, 2018)

In your case analysis preparation


determine just how competitive Wayfair’s strategic policy and

competencies are within the industry at the domestic and global levels. Where should their resource


and competencies be further developed along the industry value chain to achieve profitability? Can

Wayfair get out of its own way to become profitable? How? Case Study Guidelines and Rubric

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