Wayfair Sets Counter-COVID-19 Plans As Revenues Gain

As it takes steps to ensure its employee, customer and financial health, Wayfair said it expects to meet or exceed its first quarter 2020 guidance for consolidated net revenue growth and non-GAAP adjusted EBITDA margin.

The company has taken multiple steps to further reinforce liquidity, including a $535 million capital raise. In addition, Wayfair is postponing its annual Way Day promotion to a later date. Instead, Wayfair will host a special promotional event during its second quarter to provide value offers on products customers may require during the coronavirus emergency, and indicated that it would donate a meaningful portion of the proceeds to benefit the broader community.

Although it has transitioned the majority of its employees to working from home, fulfillment, logistics and transportation facilities remain operational as employees continue to address customer needs during the pandemic. Through no-contact delivery, Wayfair has been able to deliver necessary household products such as mattresses, bedding, sheets, and towels, as well as basic kitchen and cookware items, large appliances, home office and children’s furniture, and playroom products to ensure that customers and their families are equipped to spend more time at home.

Measures Wayfair has instituted to combat the transmission of COVID-19 include:

  • Partnering with expert epidemiologists to implement preventative best practices throughout its operations in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Introducing no-contact, no-signature delivery that keeps drivers and customers safe via social distancing, and mandatory employee hand washing or sanitizing between drop offs.
  • Increasing daily cleaning routines across all facilities and as part of delivery operations, including disinfection and cleaning of equipment, more frequent handwashing and use of sanitizer.
  • Implementing daily temperature checks at several locations with plans to roll out the practice further in the coming days.
  • Introducing policies and protocols to help ensure that teams in fulfillment and transportation centers maintain proper social distancing such as staggering shifts to reduce overlap and placing limitations on the number of people allowed in common spaces.
  • Rolling out emergency paid time off to enable team members who are not feeling well to stay home without losing pay.

Wayfair has increased pay and introduced other incentives for hourly employees in fulfillment centers and home-delivery operations to recognize their ongoing contributions.

The company also is leveraging its core competencies and expertise to provide added support to the greater community. Wayfair has offered to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency in New York and Massachusetts by providing call center assistance, access to its logistics network for storing and moving critical supplies, and use of its supply chain to provide much needed items such as mattresses, linens, sheets and pillows for field hospitals.

Wayfair also is working with the Boston Medical Center to provide furnishings in a space designated for the homeless to self-quarantine should they become infected. The company is making a $250,000 donation to multiple employee-selected charities to help COVID-19 victims as well.

“Wayfair’s e-commerce model is uniquely suited to serving customers’ very real needs at this challenging time, and we are committed to doing so while taking all necessary steps and precautions to ensure the safety of our customers, employees, and communities,” said Niraj Shah, Wayfair CEO, co-founder and co-chairman. “We are incredibly proud of our team of over 16,000 people and the way they have mobilized to both take care of our customers and to help our local communities. We are encouraged by our increasing sales momentum, yet remain highly focused on our plan to rapidly reach profitability and positive free cash flow. The additional capital we are raising, though not strictly necessary, should only enhance our ability to successfully navigate through any market backdrop.”