Online design shop Fab.com is moving some services away from Berlin and to centralise them in its New York offices. Thirty people will be able to make the transition, while another hundred will lose their job. A fundamental change in strategy is the main reason for the shift.
From “flash sales” to “global retail”
“I’m very sorry for what I have to announce today”, writes founder and CEO Jason Goldberg. “This decision is personally painful but strategically sound and, critically, not a result of any financial difficulties or a change in commitment to Berlin, Germany, the UK, the broader EU or our overall growth.”
Following the takeover of companies in Germany and Great Britain, Fab wants to start selling products across the world itself, instead of organising a new “flash sale” every day for new products, as is the case now.
Only one shop
That kind of strategy is no longer attainable on a larger scale, says the Fab founder. “The way that stores operate and scale globally is to sell the same stuff everywhere. Make once, sell everywhere. Buy once, sell everywhere. That’s what Ikea does. That’s what Urban Outfitters does. That’s what ASOS does”.
“We can’t have 2 different stores anymore. We need to have just 1 Fab store. That will enable us to sell better products, always in inventory, always shipped as fast as possible, and for us to always give our customers a consistent Fab experience”, writes Jason Goldberg.
(UPDATE) Fab.com has let us know that “a closing of the European headquarters”, a rumour that circulated earlier, is out of the question: “We are only centralising a number of operational services, such as merchandising and marketing at our headquarters in New York. The local customer service, returns, shipments and logistics, finance, IT and HR for Europe remain in Berlin and Eindhoven.”
Furniture designer Fab DBY (Fab Designed By You) remains in Berlin. Currently it employs 35 people, a number that should double by the end of the year.