Breakdown in progress: Fab narrows its European business down to only selling custom-made furniture

High-profile e-commerce company Fab has decided to stop selling design items across all European markets it operates in, apart from its own custom-made furniture. One hell of a transition to make.
Breakdown in progress: Fab narrows its European business down to only selling custom-made furniture

Big changes appear to continue to be afoot at highly valued U.S. e-commerce company Fab, which has recently been in the news pretty much exclusively when something negative happens (executives and co-founders jumping ship, lay-offs, more pivoting, etc.).

The latest news is that Fab Europe appears to be winding down to the bare minimum, rather suddenly announcing that it will henceforth focus exclusively on selling its custom-made furniture (see screenshot below).

Goodbye flash sales model, but also goodbye to being able to buy any design item other than Fab-made furniture in any European market.

In a FAQ, Fab explains its decision to significantly narrow its scope thusly:

We’re transitioning our business in the EU to focus solely on growing our popular custom-designed furniture line. This means that our customers in the EU will have access to affordable, high-quality, made-to-measure furniture at their fingertips."

That's one hell of a transition to make, but later in the FAQ the company says it's just "taking a break":

While we focus on bringing custom-made, high-quality furniture to customers in the EU, we’re taking a break from selling products made by others in the EU region at this time. We are still working with designers to develop products that you may eventually see on Fab.

Despite what this implies, it's unlikely Fab Europe will return to its former 'buy everything design' marketplace in these parts.

Fab says it "hopes to" offer shipping to countries other than the US, Canada and Australia "in the future" for people who want to continue their shopping on Fab's US store.

Design your own made-to-measure solid wood furniture with Fab.

The news of Fab Europe's winding down comes about 6 months after Fab's 'Chief European Officer', Maria Molland, decided to quit the company to return to San Francisco and start her own business.

This was followed by massive job cuts in Europe, and later in its New York headquarters as well.

Fab has raised $336 million in funding, and recently acquired assets from myFab, a home decor and designer furniture portal in France, prompting TechCrunch to proclaim Fab was 'growing in Europe again'. Guess that's not happening, or at least not anymore.

We've reached out to the company and will be updating this post as we learn more.

Update: Fab got back to us to confirm all of the above, and give us this blanket statement:

"The custom furniture design option for Fab customers is one we're delighted to focus on in the EU at the beginning of 2014.

Regarding the rest of the products Fab may offer in the EU: Fab is a private company; we will keep our long-term plans private as a matter of both corporate policy and for competitive reasons.

We will continue to focus our efforts on high quality products offered to our customers at a great value for the product." Update 2: Fab CEO Jason Goldberg wrote 3,500 words about, well, a lot of different things.

Featured image credit: Mariko Yuki / Shutterstock

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