Wayfair’s first-quarter revenue grows 38.5%, while losses jump 85.9%

Wayfair Inc. continues to grow its revenue at a blistering pace, but losses are growing even faster, according to first-quarter results reported Thursday.

The online home furnishings retailer—No. 12 in the recently released Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000—reported net revenue of $1.945 billion in the quarter ended March 31, up 38.5% from $1.404 billion for the first quarter of 2018. The net loss rose to $200.4 million compared with $107.8 million for the year-earlier quarter, an increase of 85.9%.

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The retailer reported its second-annual Way Day sales event—which Wayfair expanded to 36 hours from 24 hours—once again produced the biggest sales day in the company’s history but did not offer specific numbers. That reinforces reports from multiple market research firms that said 2019’s Way Day topped last year’s event in nearly every metric.

In a Thursday conference call with analysts to discuss first-quarter results, CEO Niraj Shah said Wayfair continues to invest in its logistics network. The retailer finished 2018 with about 12 million square feet of space in North America and Europe across its Wayfair Delivery Network (WDN) and CastleGate facilities and expects to add about 5 million more square feet in 2019.

“Of the 5 million incremental square feet, 3 million is expected to come from new U.S. CastleGate warehouses, including a warehouse in Savannah, Georgia, that opened just a few days ago and two warehouses we have planned to open later this year in Jacksonville, Florida, and Lathrop, California,” Shah said, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.

CastleGate is Wayfair’s network of fulfillment and logistics centers. More than 300 furniture and decor suppliers use the CastleGate network, the company says. WDN is the company’s last-mile delivery system.

Consumers downloaded Wayfair’s mobile app nearly 13 million times in 2018, bringing cumulative Wayfair app downloads to more than 31 million as of the first quarter, co-chairman Steve Conine said during the call.

For the first quarter ended March 31, Wayfair reports:

  • Net revenue of $1.945 billion, up 38.5% from $1.404 billion in the first quarter of 2018.
  • The number of active ecommerce customers reached 16.4 million as of March 31, an increase of 39.1% year over year.
  • A net loss of $200.4 million, up 85.9% compared with from $107.8 million for the year-earlier quarter.
  • 53.4% of total ecommerce retail orders were placed via a mobile device, compared with 49.2% in the first quarter of 2018.
  • Repeat customers placed 66.0% of total orders in the first quarter of 2019, compared with 64.3% in the first quarter of 2018.
  • Average order value was $237 for the first quarter of 2019, compared with $236 for the first quarter of 2018.



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