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Wayfair Hit With A Conspiracy Theory

Image via Tom Radetzki on Unsplash

Most people enjoy a good conspiracy theory. The way 2020 has been going so far, the most far-fetched news wouldn't surprise a lot of people at this point.

On Friday, a conspiracy theory regarding online furniture and home-goods retailer Wayfair quickly made the rounds on the internet.

Reddit user PrincessPeach1987 asked the conspiracy subreddit r/conspiracy, which has 1.3 million members, "Is it possible Wayfair involved in Human trafficking with their WFX Utility collection? Or are these just extremely overpriced cabinets? (Note the names of the cabinets) this makes me sick to my stomach if it’s true :("

The Reddit user described themselves to Newsweek as someone "involved in a local organization that helps victims of human trafficking" that is "suspicious most of the time now." They said the purpose of the post wasn't to accuse Wayfair of wrongdoing but rather to "see if anyone else had more details."

The conspiracy theory immediately exploded, even becoming a top trend on Twitter throughout most of the day on Friday and Saturday, as internet sleuths began to chime in with their own theories.

A search for Wayfair yielded endless results of tweets containing images of overpriced furniture and furnishings along with photos of missing children who have the same name as products on Wayfair.

A Twitter user believes they may have cracked the meaning behind the name Wayfair, albeit through different spellings. The user believes Waif, which is defined as a stray person or animal, and fare, which is defined as the price charged to transport a person, may be a subliminal message in the company's name.

A tweet by Angela Stanton-King, who is the goddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr’s niece and is the Republican candidate for Georgia's 5th congressional district, asked if the timing of the theory has something to do with Ghislaine Maxwell's recent arrest. "Did Ghislane Maxwell tip authorities off about Wayfair," Stanton-King tweeted.

One Twitter user even had a humorous take on the subject, tweeting "Some people still think corona virus is a hoax and don’t believe that covering your mouth helps slow the spread of germs... but after like 2 tweets are absolutely convinced Wayfair is selling kids inside cabinets for 10,000 bucks. God Bless this great nation."

Rather than ignore the conspiracy theory, Wayfair decided to address it.

"There is, of course, no truth to these claims," Wayfair said in a statement. "The products in question are industrial grade cabinets that are accurately priced. Recognizing that the photos and descriptions provided by the supplier did not adequately explain the high price point, we have temporarily removed the products from site to rename them and to provide a more in-depth description and photos that accurately depict the product to clarify the price point."

Wayfair has been one of the hottest stocks since the market bottomed in March, increasing from a low of just over $20 per share to close at just under $225 per share on Friday. Shares of Wayfair largely ignored the growing conspiracy theory as it began to spread on Friday.

While the conspiracy theory about Wayfair sounds bizarre, if 2020 has taught us anything so far it's that basically anything can happen and as crazy as it sounds, it's likely to be outdone by something even crazier next.

Leftover Crumbs

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  • Fed adds blue chip bonds. The U.S. Federal Reserve added more than $1.3 billion of corporate bonds to its portfolio from June 22 to June 30, including companies such as Apple, Anheuser-Busch and Expedia. The Fed now holds a portfolio of 330 individual U.S. corporate bonds totaling $1.59 billion. Among the Fed's largest holdings are Verizon Communications, AT&T and Apple. The Fed also now holds nearly $8 billion in 16 corporate bond ETFs, with roughly half of them going to funds managed by BlackRock, which has been designated to manage the Fed's corporate credit facilities.

  • Amazon can't make up its mind. Amazon notified employees they will no longer be able to use TikTok on their phones. "Due to security risk, the TikTok app is no longer permitted on mobile devices that access Amazon email. If you have TikTok on your device, you must remove it by 10-Jul to retain mobile access to Amazon email. At this time, using TikTok from your Amazon laptop browser is allowed," Amazon's email to employees read. However, just a few hours later, Amazon said the email was sent by mistake, with a company spokesperson saying "This morning's email to some of our employees was sent in error. There is no change to our policies right now with regard to TikTok."

  • Rivian lands $2.5 billion. Electric vehicle maker Rivian has secured $2.5 billion in additional funding led by T. Rowe Price, with investors such as Soros Fund Management, Amazon and BlackRock also participating in the round. The latest round brings Rivian's total funding to more than $6 billion. "We are focused on the launch of our R1T, R1S and Amazon delivery vehicles. With all three launches occurring in 2021, our teams are working hard to ensure our vehicles, supply chain and production systems are ready for a robust production ramp up. We are grateful for the strong investor support that helps enable us to focus on execution of our products," Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe said.

  • Quibi has an issue. Quibi, the heavily-backed video startup that has struggled since its launch, is apparently bleeding users once they have to start paying for the app. According to Sensor Tower, Quibi has retained just 8% of its users after their 90-day free trial expired. Sensor Tower says that just 72,000 of the 910,000 users who subscribed between April 6 and April 8 are now paying for the app. "The number of paid subscribers is incorrect by an order of magnitude," a Quibi spokesperson said in response to the report.