Clearly "borrowing" an idea from a larger peer, online furniture and home goods retailer Wayfair (W 4.40%) announced a new, proprietary shopping holiday Thursday morning. The market didn't celebrate the news, though, with investors responding by trading the company's stock down by over 3% on an otherwise very frothy day for the market.
The upcoming Way Day will kick off on Wednesday, Oct. 26. Somewhat at odds with its name, the event will last for two days, during which customers can hop on discounts of up to 80% on Wayfair's merchandise. The company said it would offer "unbeatable deals" on its specialty retail brands, which include AllModern and Birch Lane.
This is the second Way Day in the online retailer's history. The first occurred at the end of April and was similar to the upcoming one in terms of merchandise on offer and discount levels promised.
On both occasions, investors traded down the company's stock notably. Assertive discounting is a high-wire act in the notoriously narrow-profit margin retail sector, and Wayfair has not been profitable lately. Its latest quarterly bottom-line loss of $378 million was the deepest in its history as a publicly traded company.
While Way Day is certainly a catchy and easy-to-remember name, it's also reminiscent of Amazon's far more splashy Prime 2. Amazon has built the latter into quite the gala, with its big hype machine generating plenty of media coverage and, naturally, customer traffic.
Wayfair certainly gets points for trying, but this feels like a pale imitation. Also, investors would surely prefer to see encouraging signs of recovery rather than their company throwing a new shopping party.