The last time Fab.com changed its direction, it became the fastest growing e-commerce site on the web, with 12 million members and 300% growth in sales. So the news that Fab may be pivoting again, the second time in two years, may not be such a bad thing.
Fab was originally created by Jason Goldberg and Bradford Shellhammer as a social networking site for gay men known as Fabulis, but in 2011, it revamped itself into a 3rd party retailer offering flash sales and has quickly becomes a leading everyday design retailer. Now, the e-retailer is reportedly looking to develop its brand by designing and manufacturing its own products in-house. Last month, co-founder Bradford Shellhammer told Fast Company that their goal is to become ‘the world’s alternative to Amazon and Wal-Mart‘:
The only way to compete in the world of Amazon is to sell things that Amazon doesn’t sell. We’re building a brand, and part of that is bringing the brand to our own line of products.
Fab has been relatively hush-hush about its intended direction but in a blog post, Goldberg hinted that 2013 would bring major change for the company:
We’ll be pivoting towards a new model that we are not yet ready to reveal publicly. That pivot will be gradual. I can promise you one thing: It will be 100% towards delivering the best customer experience in the world for discovering everyday design. We’ll offer even more unique products supported by an even better experience.
While an official announcement will be made at a press event on April 29th as to exactly what Fab has in the works, it has already began to reveal its direction with a recent competition, Disrupting Design. The site held an open-call to designers and students for prototypes, with the winners’ creations set to be produced and sold on Fab in a series entitled Fab x [Designer's name].
The about-face that company did in 2011 turned it into one of the hottest shopping sites on the Internet; only time will tell if this latest pivot will create even further success.