Utah Member Profile: Wayfair – February 2018

Wayfair offers a zillion things home.  With one of the world’s largest online selections of furniture, home furnishings, décor and goods, including more than eight million products from over 10,000 suppliers, Wayfair helps people find the perfect product at the right price. Their extensive selection and superior customer service coupled with the convenience of online shopping, make it easier than ever to find exactly what you want for your home at a price you can afford.

Company HistorySteve Conine and Niraj Shah struck up a friendship while studying engineering at Cornell University.  In 2002, the duo founded CSN Stores on a shoestring budget in a spare bedroom of Steve’s house. By carefully analyzing Internet search patterns and results, Steve and Niraj recognized a market opportunity to sell stereo racks and stands online. What would grow to become the largest ecommerce destination for home furnishings and décor started with just one website and soon grew to more than 250 standalone sites.  In 2011, Steve and Niraj took a giant leap and moved all of their e-commerce sites into one mega destination for the home and named it Wayfair. By the next year, Wayfair had exceeded $600 million in annual revenue and was on its way to becoming a household name offering millions of products across a wide array of styles and price points.  Today, Wayfair has 8,350 employees throughout North America and Europe and generated $4.3 billion in net revenue in fiscal year 2017.

Candice Smith started with Wayfair in 2014 and was named the National Director of Human Resources in 2016.  She leads a team of geographically dispersed HR representatives to ensure high employee engagement, succession planning, successful resolution of escalated employee matters, streamlined processes for LOA, consistent policies across similar locations, and compliance with federal, state, and local laws. She consistently provides feedback, guidance, and development opportunities to create a proactive, respected, and knowledgeable team.  In 2017, Candice received the Wayfairian of the Year award.  Nominated by employees, this award is given to the person who embodies the company’s core values and who is an example for everyone of what it means to be a Wayfairian.  With over 8,000 employees, this speaks volumes about the example she leads and the connection she maintains with employees.

We asked Candice the following:

Name something that makes you proud to work for Wayfair? The employees at Wayfair are curious, analytical, adaptable, intelligent, and have the strongest work ethic of any set of employees I’ve had the privilege to work with.

List a unique company practice that may be of interest to other members. At Wayfair, a team is designated as a POD and receives a monthly or quarterly budget to participate in POD outings for bonding.  The outings are after-hour activities selected by the team, such as dinner, bowling, pottery, painting, game night, field games, etc. 

How has Employers Council helped Wayfair?  The vast amount of services offered across numerous states. I wish Employers Council would expand to all 50 states. Employers Council has provided counsel for several mediations and has been available for the multitude of questions related to the unique situations we come across in our employee population.

If your company is interested in being featured in an upcoming Utah Member Profile, contact Terri Braby at 801.948.9543 or TBraby@EmployersCouncil.org