KESTENBAUM: Wayfair sells something online that a lot of people are used to buying in stores - furniture. You may have seen the ads. What is the heaviest thing you sell?
SHAH: We have some beds, for example, that can weigh 1,500 pounds, like big, ornate, carved wood, you know, huge pillars. And so the delivery on some of these items is tricky to say the least.
KESTENBAUM: The company went public just last year. Lots of people bought the stock, presumably thinking, great idea, a huge online furniture store. But there were also skeptics, people apparently so convinced this dream would fail that they bet against the company. They shorted the stock. If Wayfair fails, the short sellers make money.
SHAH: You know, it doesn't really bother me that folks short the stock. I was just surprised, to be honest.
KESTENBAUM: Doesn't it bug you a little bit?
SHAH: You know, it's - I guess, maybe annoying would be a better term.
KESTENBAUM: When a company ends up on the most shorted list, it's often because there are two groups of people with totally opposite views on something critical to the company's future. In this case, Shah thinks, the controversial thing is those ads.
KESTENBAUM: The debate is not over the ads themselves, but the amount of money Wayfair is spending on advertising. The ads are helping sell lots of barstools and four-poster beds, but the company is not making a profit yet. Shah says the company will be able to scale back on ads once the Wayfair name is out there. He's
made his case with data and numbers on repeat customers, but that has not seemed to sway the short sellers. They're still out there. He's not sure why.
SHAH: The degree of the short interest means that folks are super convinced that they're right. And I guess that is the piece I'm missing.
KESTENBAUM: Would you like to meet someone who has short your company? If we could find someone, would you talk to him?
SHAH: Oh, yeah. I'd be happy to.
A Boston-based evening magazine TV show recently aired a segment focused on the changing landscape of the workplace and how millennials gravitate to progressive work cultures. Two Boston-based business are highlighted, including Wayfair.
Easy to find (sorry, Y! prohibits link postings) - just google "WCVB & Wayfair" to find the vid.