Fab Gives Up the Flash In Hopes of Bringing in More Cash

fab androidImagine if Ikea and Amazon got together and had a baby – that would be Fab.com.

Two years ago, founder Jason Goldberg launched Fabulis, a social media network for gay men. In June 2011, he and his partner tossed that idea, shortened the name and came back as a flash sale site with the emphasis on quirky housewares. As Fab.com, they raised over $105 million in start-up capital on a company valued at $600 million. Not bad.

Some would be worried about the short-term, wide swing, but not Goldberg.

“I tell start-ups that if you can’t figure out something in a year, it won’t work. You can’t iterate forever.”

Fast forward to April 2013 and Goldberg is taking his own advice again but at least this time, the shift is a little more subtle.

Goldberg and partner Bradford Shellhammer revealed their plan at an event last night and they did it with lots of bright colors, Ikea-like furniture and a new battle cry. Going forward, they want to be known as the place to go for top design.

They’re already part of the way there. The items they’ve been selling are unique in their shape and function. Now they’re going to put a design team to work creating 3,000 exclusive products. In addition, Fab bought out a German furniture store called Massivkonzept and has rebranded the shop with the Fab name.

On the web, Fab.com has a new design and the company will be rolling out updated Android and iOS apps.

fab screengrab

Right now, they have 12 million users and their European business is growing. They sell an average of one product every seven seconds and one third of their sales are coming in via mobile. That’s a company on the right track.

Fab doesn’t need the “flash sale” bone in order to attract customers. They sell unique items in a highly-graphic, colorful way. Just look at the bowl in the screengrab. Positioned that way, it’s a work of art. It’s a conversation piece as well as a fruit bowl. That’s what Fab does best.

What I don’t understand is why they’re also selling clothing. A broadsword umbrella is pretty cool and only $29 to boot but rows and rows of jeans? I don’t see the connection.

Dinosaur clock? Now we’re talking.

Are flash sales a thing of the past? Or just not right for this Fab-ulous design center?

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