Wayfair loses customers and money in a messy quarter, announces its CFO will retire

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Niraj Shah, CEO, Wayfair
Ashlee Espinal | CNBC

Wayfair shares tumbled in premarket trading Thursday after the online furniture retailer reported larger-than-expected losses in the first quarter as shoppers scaled back their spending on the home category.

Wayfair also announced that its chief financial officer, Michael Fleisher, is set to retire early next year. Kate Gulliver, current chief people officer, will be moving into the CFO role in November. Fleisher will remain at the company for a transition period until next January, it said.

Wayfair co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Niraj Shah said, despite sliding sales, consumer health remains “relatively strong.”

“Shoppers are still very interested in the home category,” he said in a press release.

Still, Wayfair reported that its count of active customers declined 23.4% from a year ago, to 25.4 million. Orders per customer totaled 1.87, versus 1.98 in the year-ago period.

For the three-month period ended March 31, Wayfair reported a loss of $319 million, or $3.04 per share, compared with net income of $18 million, or 16 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company lost $1.96 per share. Analysts had been looking for a loss of $1.56 a share, according to a Refinitiv poll.

Sales fell almost 14% to $2.99 billion from $3.48 billion a year earlier. That was in line with analysts’ estimates.

Net revenue in the United States dropped 9.9%, to $2.5 billion, while international net revenue declined 31.4%, to $451 million.

Find the full quarterly financial release from Wayfair here.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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