Where is Wayfair’s latest retail expansion? Joss & Main has the inside scoop

BOSTON — Wayfair just launched a Joss & Main retail store at the Burlington Mall last week as part of its retail brand expansion strategy. The new store was designed to underscore Joss & Main’s brand identity and product curation.

Joss & Main is trying to create something that doesn’t exist in the current retail market by embracing a range of styles that are edited for relevancy and that is the brand’s differentiator, according to Joss & Main President Adrienne Brown, who was on hand for the store’s launch.

Located in a Simon-owned mall in Burlington, Mass., the store is the second brick-and-mortar venture for Wayfair this year. Wayfair opened its AllModern store in June, and the company intends to continue opening stores for its brands, including another for AllModern in Dedham, Mass. later this year.

Joss & Main’s new 12,000-square-foot space has soaring ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows and two unique arched entrances from both outside and inside the mall. Having an exterior opening to the parking lot offers easy access to the store. Inside the mall, there is a Lovesac showroom next door and an upscale burger joint, Shake Shack, across the way. Primark, the UK-based international clothing retailer, is located on the floor above Joss & Main.

This particular Simon mall is working to expand the venue as more than just a shopping space. Large banners and video monitors throughout the mall announced the opening of a variety of restaurants and stores, events like a salsa dance night and a host of gatherings.

Brown described the Joss & Main’s target customer as “serial decorators.” These consumers are confident in their design sensibilities and are not afraid to embrace trends to refresh their home by mixing various periods and styles. Joss & Main samples broadly from across styles, allowing customers to mix elements to achieve a unique look.

“The brand, which has been around since 2011, has evolved over time to a brand that embraces a new elevated style for home,” said Brown. “Its customers are energized with the creative process and a breadth of styles to create an artful home narrative.”

Underscoring its brand identity, the entryways initiate the customer to Joss & Main’s signature arches which are a recurrent theme. Even hang tags are in the shape of an arch.

Upscale white oak floors enhance the stepped-up design. The heart of the store is the “marketplace,” which features a gold-toned series of metal arches that come together to form a central structure, much like the shopping arcades in London and Paris. The marketplace has basketweave tiled floors and stylish POS counters done in black marble. Within the marketplace are shoppable vignettes with an edited selection of items for sale.

Varied living room, dining room and bedroom displays circle the marketplace and are separated by bookcase-like walls featuring products such as decorative accessories, pillows, ceramics and artwork. This layout allows for easy circulation through the store and provides strong site lines for the various “room” setups.

The store has four “hero” vignettes which are Joss & Main’s distillation of the latest trends/mix. The marketplace further enhances this distillation with trend round-ups.

Room vignettes will be changed out approximately four times per year with trend updates. Examples of current trend statements were “dark and stormy” and “serene statements.” Underscoring these trend identifiers were two mood boards in the design center further detailing the inspiration for the trend concepts.

In the design center, located just outside of the marketplace, customers can work one-on-one with design associates to create a unique look for their home from among Joss & Main’s offerings in-store and supplemented by thousands of choices online. Joss & Main also has an annual print catalog.

The design center houses samples of all upholstery fabric choices offered by Joss & Main, with QR codes on the back to provide further information to the customer and to show which products are available in each swatch. Additionally, there are samples of rugs for a tactile experience as well.

To underscore the store as an extension of a customer’s home concept, Joss & Main has a large kitchen island that centers the tabletop area where linens, glassware, ceramics and kitchen-related products for sale are displayed.

A series of connected display cubes showcases choices for occasional chairs and tables to infuse personality into a room. “Made in Italy” labels indicate which products were produced there, and example of Joss & Main’s signifiers to underscore the value proposition of particular items for customers, according to Brown.

Like its AllModern cousin, Joss & Main has an app that makes building a cart digitally relatively easy. The store showcases more than a thousand unique items, representing just a portion of the full Joss & Main offering. QR codes on products and digital screens throughout the store empower shoppers to see product details and explore the entire brand catalog. The melding of digital and brick-and-mortar is a bonus for customers shopping Wayfair’s new retail store experience.

For now, Joss & Main is going to track how customers engage with the store and product assortment and will continue to evolve its omnichannel experience as it gathers input, according to the company.

Wayfair brands

With two stores now open, the Wayfair portfolio of brands are using new retail locations to further differentiate brand identities and as a gateway into the broader Wayfair ecosystem.

Currently, Wayfair has categorized its portfolio of brands in this way: Wayfair is “everything home, for a space that’s all you;” AllModern is “all of modern, made simple;” Joss & Main is “the ultimate style edit for home;” Birch Lane is “a fresh take on classics;” Perigold is “an undiscovered world of luxury design;” and Wayfair Professional is “just right for the pros.”

By opening retail locations as a means of building on and complementing the online shopping experience, Wayfair is working on evolving its sales channels along with its customer base.

Although the brands are targeted to different customer needs and preferences, they are all backed by Wayfair Inc.’s logistics network and systems, with its current commitment to free shipping a compelling differentiator.

These locations are the first in a series of openings as Wayfair plans to launch additional stores representing all five of its brands, including an AllModern planned for Dedham, Mass., later this year and a 152,000-square-foot Wayfair branded store in Wilmette, Ill., in mid-2023.

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