Fab decides there’s more to its business than flash sales, plans major expansion

Last May, Fab CEO’s Jason Goldberg gave entrepreneurs a piece of advice: don’t be afraid to break with a bad idea. And Goldberg would know, since he previously tried to launch a social network before focusing instead on building a design-centric e-commerce site. So when Goldberg says the company is pivoting again, you might imagine a totally new business model.

But in reality? With this pivot, Fab isn’t completely changing its product as much as it is changing what the Fab brand means. Instead of selling merchandise from other retailers on its site through flash sales (sales of limited quantities of items for limited time periods), Fab is expanding to include products designed by Fab, products designed by others, and ventures like custom furniture and a brick and mortar store in Europe. The company wants to be one of the “next great iconic shopping brands,” it wrote Tuesday, and that shopping experience will maintain the design focus that the company was founded on.

Fab design productsGoldberg explained the idea behind the re-launch, which he announced in a blog post Tuesday:

“People called it a “pivot.” We called it a complete restart. We threw out the old and started anew. And it took off fast. Really fast. We re-launched Fab on June 9, 2011 and before we knew it we were tracking to $100M in sales and working with tens of thousands of designers and connecting with millions of consumers. We were on to something big. We knew it. So, in January 2012 we did what came naturally to us: We planned to Pivot. Again.”

Focusing on the general concept of a design-based e-commerce brand will allow Fab to both produce its own products and work with others, expanding the items it sells on its site and expanding the concept of what it means to be a physical retailer, the company wrote:

“We believe that part of disrupting design is disrupting it across multiple channels. We’re working on Fab store concepts that reimagine and reinvent how people buy design products by merging offline & online experiences in entirely new ways. We’ve always said that Fab wants to be where its customers are — be it smartphone, tablets, web browsers, or even physical retail stores. And, with less than 5% of home products purchased online today, we think that physical retail has an important role to play in the customer’s decision process. But, we plan to reinvent retail and help guide home product purchased online to 10%, then 20%, then 30% online as part of our disrupting the industry.”

As part of the expansion, Fab is also acquiring MassivKonzept, a custom furniture company, which will give Fab a head-start on this business and the addition of a physical store, with plans to add more of these stores in the future.