Wayfair’s growth spurs talk of a possible IPO

Shrikar Khare Posted On - March 24, 2014

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There is a high chance that Wayfair LLC, the house wares and home furnishings web merchant may decide to go public with a record of E-Commerce sales that grew by about 50% in the year 2013. Webfair has achieved a faster growth rate in web sales than Williams Sonoma, the leader in home furnishings category.

Some Wall Street bankers have highlighted their anticipation that Wayfair, being the No. 52 in the 2013 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, perhaps will announce their strategy to go public within next 18 months or latest by the first quarter of 2015. One Wall Street investment banker who covers online retailing commented that he is being able to assess Wayfair timing an initial public offering for 2015 which can also be as soon as next March.

What Niraj Shah said

However Niraj Shah, the CEO of Wayfair has said the organization has no such definite timeline. He also added that Wayfair might consider a public offering “when it makes the most sense.” He further explained by saying, Wayfair would use any proceeds from any initial public stock whoever offers to make more acquisitions and continue to build up more consumer awareness of the Wayfair brand worldwide and also would be ready to pay off private investors. Shah also said Wayfair for the first time topped $900 million as its sales grew by about 50% in 2013 but did not reveal final numbers for a few weeks.

Michael Fleisher joined as the CFO

In last October Wayfair, has hired Michael Fleisher as their chief financial officer. He has a background of dealing with big company finance and public company accounting. He worked as vice chairman, strategy and operations, for Warner Music Group. And while working as the CEO with consultancy Gartner Inc he led its IPO. This particular incident has also influenced the Wall Street Banker to make an assessment about a possible IPO. This investment banker put a stress on this issue and remarked that hiring a CFO with experience in dealing Wall Street is a big indicator of Wayfair’s plans to go public.

A challenge for Williams-Sonoma

An analysis of data from Internet Retailer’s Top500Guide.com. reveals, irrespective of  Wayfair’s decision to go public or chalking out strategies to grow in other ways, it will definitely going to be a challenge for Williams-Sonoma Inc., the top ranked merchant in the Top 500 house wares and home furnishings category. Williams-Sonoma, is holding the No. 22 position in the 2013 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, for the last three years and also is recognized for controlling  about 30% of web sales in the category.

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