The American online design retailer Fab.com is opening up physical stores in London and Berlin. They will mainly be used as showroom: customers can come and have a look at the products they can order online.
High street showrooms
“The rationale is that people can come in, touch, feel and look at how it will be in their home – afterwards they can buy on their mobiles in the store", said European CEO Maria Holland in an interview with the Financial Times. However, she didn’t say how many stores they plan on opening up.
The shops will mainly come in the most important shopping streets. They will also have quite large surfaces. The online chain has already mandated real estate agents to look for suitable buildings.
Fab.com is swimming against the current with its decision, as more physical retailers are focusing more on online sales. Fab.com does not start from scratch though: when it bought German furniture producer MassivKonzept earlier this year, it also acquired its physical shop in Hamburg to change it into a showroom.
Fab.com is expecting sales of 100 million dollar or 75 million euro this year in Europe. About sixty percent will come from Germany and Austria. The company is also on its way to break even for the first time in 2014.