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Difference Between Pottery Barn and Wayfair

Pottery Barn and Wayfair have been locked in a fierce battle for the home decor throne since the latter was founded in 2002. As the e-commerce juggernaut Wayfair emerged, Pottery Barn revamped its strategies to stay in the game. Today, both boast quality furniture and decor, sparking debates among consumers. Let’s discuss further what each of these companies has to offer. Here’s a quick Pottery Barn vs. Wayfair breakdown to help you make your pick.

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn is a renowned American home furnishings and décor retailer headquartered in San Francisco, California. Known for its classic and stylish designs, the company offers a wide range of furniture, bedding, lighting, and accessories. Founded in 1949, the company has grown to over 200 stores across the United States and Canada. Pottery Barn is a wholly owned subsidiary of Williams-Sonoma, Inc., an American luxury furniture and home décor company.


Wayfair is a prominent American e-commerce company specializing in home goods and furnishings. As a major player in the online retail space, Wayfair offers an extensive selection of furniture, décor, bedding, and more. Founded in 2002, the company has grown to become one of the largest online furniture retailers in the United States. Wayfair operates five branded retail websites: the main Wayfair site, Joss & Main, AllModern, Birch Lane, and Perigold.

Difference between Pottery Barn and Wayfair

Business Model

Pottery Barn operates as a traditional brick-and-mortar and online retailer, with a network of over 200 retail stores across the United States and Canada, as well as Mexico and Australia. Wayfair, on the other hand, is primarily an e-commerce platform that operates exclusively online with no physical stores. Wayfair provides customers with a wide selection of products through its digital marketplace.


Founded in 1949, Pottery Barn has a longstanding history in the retail industry. It initially focused on artisanal pottery before expanding into a comprehensive home furnishings brand. Wayfair is a relatively new company established in 2002, but it quickly emerged as a prominent e-commerce platform specializing in a vast array of home goods and furnishings.

Product Selection

Pottery Barn offers a curated selection of high-quality furniture, bedding, lighting, and home accessories with a focus on traditional craftsmanship. It maintains a curated selection of furniture and home goods, emphasizing classic and timeless designs. Wayfair offers a vast and diverse range of products, encompassing various styles and price points. Its platform features a multitude of options in furniture, décor, and home goods, providing customers with a wide array of choices.

Target Audience and Shopping Experience

Pottery Barn primarily targets affluent consumers seeking high-end home furnishings. It emphasizes a blend of in-store and online shopping experiences, with a focus on creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere in its physical stores. Wayfair appeals to a much wider audience, including budget-conscious shoppers and those seeking diverse style options. The platform often employs data-driven recommendations and customer reviews to enhance the online shopping experience.

Pottery Barn vs. Wayfair: Comparison Chart


Pottery Barn operates physical stores with a curated selection of high-end home furnishings, while Wayfair operates solely online with a vast and diverse range of products at competitive prices. Pottery Barn mixes classic designs and traditional stores with an online presence, while Wayfair focuses on a vast online marketplace for convenient and diverse shopping. If you enjoy hitting the stores, Pottery Barn might be your go-to. But hey, the sweet deals and perks you get with Wayfair? It’s hard to top that.


Is Pottery Barn a premium brand?

Yes, Pottery Barn is considered a premium brand known for its high-quality furniture and home décor.

Is Wayfair a good brand?

Wayfair is a well-established and reputable brand known for its vast selection of home goods.

What brands are connected to Pottery Barn?

Pottery Barn is part of the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio, which also includes West Elm, Williams Sonoma, and Pottery Barn Kids and Teen.

Why is Pottery Barn so famous?

Pottery Barn gained fame for its timeless and well-crafted home furnishings, blending classic designs with quality materials. The brand’s reputation for creating inviting living spaces and offering a curated shopping experience contributed to its popularity.

What is Wayfair biggest competitor?

Wayfair faces competition from various online and brick-and-mortar retailers in the home goods industry. Competitors include Amazon, Overstock, and IKEA.

What is the lawsuit against Wayfair?

A class action lawsuit was filed against Wayfair in 2023, alleging that the company violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The lawsuit specifically alleged that Wayfair’s website contains numerous accessibility barriers that prevent screen-reader users from interacting with the website effectively.

Is Pottery Barn like IKEA?

While both Pottery Barn and IKEA are in the home furnishings industry, they have distinct styles and market positions. Pottery Barn caters to a more affluent clientele seeking high-end home furnishings, while IKEA targets a broader consumer base with value-oriented, ready-to-assemble furniture.

Who is Pottery Barn’s target market?

Pottery Barn’s target market primarily consists of affluent consumers with a discerning taste for classic and timeless home furnishings.

What is Pottery Barn furniture style?

Pottery Barn’s furniture style is characterized by classic, timeless designs. The brand often incorporates traditional craftsmanship with modern aesthetics, offering pieces that fit well into various home decor styles.

Is Pottery Barn an ethical company?

Pottery Barn has demonstrated a commitment to ethical practices in its supply chain and labor standards. The company has implemented various initiatives to ensure fair labor practices, environmental sustainability, and responsible sourcing of materials.

What is the Pottery Barn strategy?

Pottery Barn’s strategy involves offering curated, classic designs and providing a comfortable and inviting shopping experience. They focus on a blend of in-store and online interactions to create a personalized approach for customers.

Is West Elm a sister company to Pottery Barn?

Yes, West Elm is a sister company to Pottery Barn, both belonging to the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. portfolio.

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References :

[0]Popowski, Tina. “Pottery Barn vs. Wayfair: Get the Answers Before You Buy.” ConsumerSearch, 27 Nov. 2023, www.consumersearch.com/home-garden/pottery-barn-furniture-vs-wayfair.

[1]“Bureau of Internet Accessibility.” Wayfair’s Web Accessibility Lawsuit: What Businesses Can Learn, 21 Aug. 2023, www.boia.org/blog/wayfairs-web-accessibility-lawsuit-what-businesses-can-learn. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

[2]Wischhover, Cheryl. “Wayfair, the internet’s massive online furniture store, explained.” Vox, 28 Aug. 2019, www.vox.com/2019/8/28/20833645/wayfair-many-brands-websites.

[3]Image credit: https://www.canva.com/photos/MAEXOUkqOb0-different-gardening-supplies-in-barn/

[4]Image credit: https://www.canva.com/photos/MAED3T5wBvo-home-decor/

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