Source, The Times Herald, Gary Puleo
Ever wish you could squeeze one of those plush Wayfair.com pillows or try on an overstuffed armchair for size before buying?
A dedicated online retailer might be the last thing you’d expect to find at King of Prussia Mall, yet here is many folks’ favorite dot.com source for home décor in all its simulated brick-and-mortar glory.
Wayfair’s signature purple beckoned in the form of provisional walls and several well-placed Adirondack chairs from the lower level Nordstrom court on Thursday, opening day.
“We’re one of the largest online retailers for everything home and today we’re really excited to be opening our Wayfair Décor & Inspiration Shop here at King of Prussia Mall,” noted Wayfair spokesperson Susan Frechette.
“For the first time people will be able to come in to our pop-up shop and search through budget-friendly décor items and get some inspiration for their homes and purchase things from the shop and bring them home.”
With the impeccable merchandising you’d expect, everything from lamps, candles, faux flower arrangements and even Philadelphia Eagles souvenirs, to wine glasses, art and vases lined the shelves.
The inventory will change right up to its last day, Oct. 31, when shoppers will be able to browse through autumn-appropriate goods, including Thanksgiving themed merchandise.
“You’ll see a lot of décor and accent pieces. You might find throw pillows, candles, bed and bath essentials,” Frechette said. “It’s perfect now that we’re headed toward back to school season. You can pick up some last minute items for your dorm and get ideas.”
Kathy Smith, Director of Marketing at King of Prussia Mall, noted: “We are thrilled to have popular brands like Wayfair, that originated online, set up shop at King of Prussia Mall. It is exciting that Wayfair wants the brand to be a part of the iconic shopping and entertainment experience that our mall is known to provide to the community and shoppers.”
Wayfair had tested the pop-up concept with a pop-up shop at the Natick Mall in Natick, Mass. during the 2018 Christmas shopping season, as well as at the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J. In addition, Wayfair recently opened an outlet connected to its Florence, Ky. warehouse, a release noted.
“The difference is those pop-ups were more for browsing, with consultants on site to help with design questions,” Frechette explained. “You could make purchases online like you could at home, but with the (current ) pop-up shops you can walk through the shop and actually make a grab and go purchase. We’ve always tested different forms of experiential marketing, whether that be direct mail, catalogue and that sort of thing. So we see this pop-up shop as another way to engage with our customers and show them our brand and great selection.”
In conjunction with the King of Prussia opening, Wayfair also debuted pop-up shops at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Il; Streets at Southpoint in Durham, NC and Tysons Corner Center in Tysons, Va.
“I think there are a variety of retailers testing out the pop-up shop market,” Frechette noted.
That said, Wayfair is anticipating a more permanent relationship with real life shopping when its first full-service physical retail store opens this fall in Natick Mall in Natick, Mass.
A press release noted that the retail destination will “bring the Wayfair brand to life in an engaging format to delight customers with convenience and ease. With the opening of our new retail store, we are offering our customers a new way to enjoy Wayfair’s exceptional shopping experience as we continue to transform the way people shop for their homes,” said Niraj Shah, CEO, co-founder and co-chairman, Wayfair. “We look forward to inviting our customers further into the world of Wayfair, welcoming them to step inside our newest shopping experience guided by the knowledgeable support and expertise of our in-store design team.”
The release added that Wayfair will invite shoppers into the store to “explore the unlimited possibilities in home enabled by its flagship e-commerce site. Shopping at the Wayfair store and online will be a seamless, connected experience for shoppers. Customer service and home design experts will be available to offer complimentary design consultations to customers, providing recommendations for everything from home improvement projects to décor. Shoppers will be able to immediately purchase an assortment of products in store and also have orders placed for delivery to their homes.”