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Wayfair Files for IPO


Online home furnishings and housewares retailer Wayfair.com is prepared to go public and is seeking to raise $350 million in an initial public offering of its Class A common stock. Some of the biggest names on Wall Street, including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Citigroup, are managing the offering.

One of world’s largest online destinations for home furnishings and décor items, Wayfair sales have rapidly grown in the past few years. During the first six months of 2014, Wayfair’s sales have continued to grow, increasing 49.8 percent to $547 million from $383 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, sales and marketing costs, which nearly doubled during the first half of the year to drive that growth, caused the company to report a net loss of $51.4 million during the first six months of 2014 compared to a loss of $8.3 million during the first six months of 2013.

In 2013, the retailer’s sales increased 52 percent to $916 million from $601 million in 2012 and the company did lose less money year over year, according to its IPO filing. Wayfair said it lost $15.5 million in 2013 compared to $21 million the prior year. Overall, the company delivered 3.3 million orders to 2.1 million customers in 2013, and 2.2 million to 2.5 million customers during the first six months of 2014.

Wayfair reported that it would trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “W.” Handing the IPO process for Wayfair.com are Goldman, Sachs & Co., Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Allen & Company, Pacific Crest Securities, Piper Jaffray & Co., Wells Fargo Securities, Canaccord Genuity, Cowen and Company and Raymond James & Associates.

Founded in 2002 by Niraj Shah and Jeff Conine, Wayfair still owns 29 percent of the company—other owners Great Hill Partners have a 11.4 percent stake, Battery Ventures with 6.2 percent and HarbourVest Partners with  seven percent—according to the filing. Its brands include: Wayfair.com, Birch Lane, DwellStudio, AllModern.com and its flash site, Joss & Main.

The U.S. furniture and home décor markets reached $233 billion in 2013 and is expected to grow to $295 billion in 2023, according to Euromonitor International statistics. “We believe the online penetration of the U.S. home goods market in 2013 was approximately seven percent, significantly lower than other retail markets,” said Wayfair in its filing. “We believe the mass market for home goods represents the largest addressable opportunity within the home goods sector and that the mass market consumer is underserved due to structural limitations of brick and mortar and other online retailers.”

Wayfair recently moved into new offices in Boston’s 4 Copley Place tower and was adding 20 to 25 employees per week, according to the Boston Globe, with some employees remaining at its 177 Huntington location. The company recently added a customer service center in Utah and has offices in London, Berlin, Galway, Ireland and Australia.


Source: Gifts & Dec

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