Fab.com Expands, Acquires, and Goes Brick-and-Mortar

The ambitions for the future of New York-based flash sales site Fab are taking shape.

Jason Goldberg, the company’s CEO, detailed in a blog post today his company’s plans for expansion on a variety of fronts. Fab has relaunched as a design store selling original products, as well as items from outside suppliers, and has expanded its Web presence into France.

But the online site is also putting a toe in the world of brick-and-mortar retail: It’s acquired German custom wood furniture maker MassivKonzept, along with its showroom in Hamburg. The store is a showroom for the company’s furniture collection, but all customization and sales are handled completely online. Fab plans to set up more showrooms starting with Berlin.

MassivKonzept was renamed Fab Designed By You as part of the deal, and will be managed by founders Daniel Kollman and Christoph Jung. Fab’s customers in Europe can now order custom furniture from Fab Designed By You. A selection of items from Fab Designed By You is also available at Fab.com for sale in the United States with plans to give domestic shoppers access in the future to the customization tools.

Fab has been known largely for flash sales of well-designed products, but it has telegraphed before that change was coming—Goldberg wrote last December that some big shifts were in the making for 2013.

In today’s blog post—which was accompanied by coordinated media reports from a Fab briefing in New York—less than 40 percent of the company’s current revenue comes from flash sales, a type of limited-time-only liquidation event that is marketed to an e-commerce site’s membership base.

Today, Goldberg says, more of Fab’s revenue actually comes from searches for products that regularly reside on the website, making it more of a traditional online retailer than a purely flash-sales company (a sector that has seen lots of executive shuffles recently, after a hot start around the time of the recession).

Today’s announcements follow recent reports of a new funding round for Fab on top of raising more than $105 million in funding in 2012. Goldberg didn’t elaborate on any financing news in his blog post.

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