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Wayfair postpones its big shopping event amid other steps to combat COVID-19

Wayfair is delaying its annual online shopping holiday, but will offer another special digital promotion.

The digitally native home furnishings retailer will postpone its annual Way Day celebration, usually held in April, to a later date. Instead, the company plans to host a special promotional event during its second-quarter it says will offer the “best value” to customers, and will donate a portion of the proceeds to benefit the broader community.

Wayfair is also introducing a no-contact delivery experience to keep drivers and customers safe. No signatures are required, delivery teams have been instructed to maintain a distance of six feet from customers, and hand washing or sanitizer use is mandatory between all deliveries.

Other measures that Wayfair has instituted to combat the transmission of COVID-19 include partnering with expert epidemiologists to implement preventative best practices throughout its operations that are in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), and increasing daily cleaning routines, including disinfection and cleaning of equipment, across all facilities and delivery operations. Wayfair has also begun to implement daily temperature checks at several locations, with plans to roll out the practice further in the coming days.

Wayfair is also staggering shifts in its logistics and transportation facilities to reduce overlap and placing limitations on the number of people allowed in common spaces, and has rolled out emergency paid time off to enable team members who are not feeling well to stay home without losing pay.

In addition, the company has increased pay and introduced other incentives for hourly employees in fulfillment centers and home-delivery operations.

Furthermore, the company has offered to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) in New York and Massachusetts by providing call center assistance, access to its logistics network for storing and moving critical supplies, and its supply chain to provide items such as mattresses, linens, sheets and pillows for field hospitals.

“We are closely monitoring the current market as we all respond to the threat of COVID-19,” said Niraj Shah, CEO, co-founder and co-chairman, Wayfair. “Wayfair’s e-commerce model is uniquely suited to serving customers’ very real needs at this challenging time, and we are committed to doing so while taking all necessary steps and precautions to ensure the safety of our customers, employees, and communities. We are encouraged by our increasing sales momentum, yet remain highly focused on our plan to rapidly reach profitability and positive free cash flow.”

Wayfair may not be the only major online retailer altering plans for an online shopping holiday due to COVID-19. Amazon will reportedly delay its annual Prime Day online shopping extravaganza, typically held in mid-July, until August 2020 or even later.

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