With super fast shipping, helpful ratings and reviews, and thorough product descriptions, Wayfair has become one of the largest eCommerce home goods sites in the world.
Similarly, Walmart is the largest general retailer on the planet, and you might have noticed the same goods from Wayfair on Walmart’s website.
So, it begs the question: does Walmart own Wayfair?
The short answer is no. Walmart does not own Wayfair and never has.
As an experienced ecommerce seller and Amazon expert, I‘ve done extensive research into the relationship between these two retail giants. Here‘s a detailed look at whether there are any connections between Walmart and Wayfair and what the future may hold.
A Rumored Connection
In the late 2010s, some rumors circulated that Walmart was considering acquiring Wayfair. This speculative talk likely occurred because Walmart was aggressively expanding into ecommerce to better compete with Amazon.
As one of the leading online retailers in home furnishings and decor, Wayfair seemed like an attractive potential purchase. However, there is no evidence that Walmart ever made an offer or came close to buying Wayfair.
Some sources claim that Wayfair sold its products through Walmart‘s online marketplace for a period of time around 2015. The idea was that Wayfair could access Walmart‘s vast customer base.
However, I have been unable to substantiate these marketplace claims. Walmart‘s marketplace has strict requirements for sellers, and I could not verify that Wayfair was ever authorized.
One Quora commenter who claimed to work for Wayfair stated that the two companies partnered in ecommerce and that Wayfair “handles issues with orders from Walmart." This assertion seems highly dubious and unverifiable.
My expertise in managing major ecommerce accounts leads me to believe that any notable relationship would have left more of a paper trail.
Who Actually Owns and Runs Wayfair?
Instead of being owned by Walmart, Wayfair remains an independent ecommerce company run by its founders.
Wayfair was started in 2002 by Niraj Shah and Steve Conine, former business school classmates at Cornell. Headquartered in Boston, where it was founded, Wayfair has grown into a furnishings behemoth.
In 2014, Wayfair went public with an IPO, but Shah and Conine still own the largest stakes in the business.
Wayfair Ownership Breakdown:
- Niraj Shah – 35.1%
- Steve Conine – 34.9%
- Institutional/Mutual Fund Investors – 30%
Shah serves as CEO and Co-Chairman while Conine is Co-Chairman. Together, they have maintained a long-term vision for Wayfair‘s growth.
Under their leadership, Wayfair has expanded impressively:
- 2021 Revenue – $13.7 billion, up 55% YoY
- Active Customers – 26 million, up 18% YoY
- Orders Delivered – 22.4 million, up 17% YoY
The company is still reporting losses as it spends heavily on advertising and expansion. But annual revenue growth over 50% shows Wayfair‘s incredible momentum.
Walmart has never acquired any portion of the company. Wayfair remains fully independent and on the ascent.
You Can‘t Return Wayfair Purchases to Walmart
Given Wayfair and Walmart‘s lack of official connection, you cannot return Wayfair items to Walmart stores or expect Walmart to adjust Wayfair pricing.
Walmart has highly accommodating return policies, accepting returns on most items without a time limit. Wayfair‘s policies are not as flexible:
|Return Shipping Cost||Free||Customer Pays|
|Return Window||No time limit||30 days|
|Restocking Fee||None||Up to 20% after 30 days|
|Return Condition||Any||Must be new with tags|
I know first-hand how prohibitive Wayfair‘s shipping costs can be for large, heavy furniture returns. Walmart has excelled in accommodating shoppers.
Unfortunately, the separate corporate structures prevent routing Wayfair returns through Walmart. Any items purchased from Walmart‘s Marketplace must also be returned directly to the seller.
No Price Matching Either
Along the same lines, Walmart‘s price match guarantee excludes Wayfair.
The retailer only price matches its own Walmart.com and Jet.com sites. Even Walmart Marketplace items don‘t qualify. Of course, there‘s still no evidence Wayfair sells on Walmart‘s Marketplace anyway.
This makes sense from Walmart‘s perspective. It only wants to match prices from authorized sellers on its own controlled platforms. Wayfair is a separate competing business, so Walmart has no incentive to adjust pricing based on Wayfair‘s listings.
The Future Relationship
In my professional opinion, it‘s unlikely that Walmart will acquire Wayfair any time soon.
Wayfair is still growing quickly, and its founders seem committed to an independent path focused on home goods ecommerce leadership.
Walmart may revisit the idea down the road. But a deal would face major integration and culture clash challenges. Wayfair‘s systems are optimized for Ecommerce, while Walmart remains heavily brick-and-mortar focused.
For now, these two retail giants will continue pushing forward on their own in the evolving commerce landscape. Shoppers should see both brands expanding their offerings and competing heavily for home furnishings dollars.
The Bottom Line
Wayfair remains fully independent from Walmart in ownership, operations, policies, and pricing. Rumors about connections between the two are unfounded.
As major players in home goods ecommerce, Walmart and Wayfair will continue driving growth through very different models. But any kind of merger is unlikely in the foreseeable future.
I hope this comprehensive overview clears up any lingering questions about whether Walmart owns or partners with Wayfair. Let me know if you need any other ecommerce insights!