News: online design retailer Fab.com is closing its UK site and relocating up to 35 staff from London to Berlin as part of a move to create a single European e-commerce site based in Germany.
"We're bringing together our European operations in Berlin," said Tracy Dorée, Fab's senior vice president for merchandising and design. "We'll have one shopfront for the whole of Europe."
The company will now manage all buying, warehousing and logistics from Germany, rather than having operations split between London and Berlin. "In terms of being closer to the consumer, being in Germany makes sense," Dorée said.
Fab's UK operation launched in June when it acquired Llustre.com, a design-led UK flash-sale site that had itself only launched less than three months earlier - a move that led TechCrunch to describe the deal as "one of the fastest UK exits in recent history". The all-share deal led to Llustre.com being relaunced as Fab UK.
Fab similarly entered the German market when it acquired Casacanda.de in February 2012. A quarter of the company's revenue now comes from Europe.
Fab itself was founded in 2010 as a social network but last year switched focus to become a retail site focusing on limited-time "flash sales" of household items, often sold at a discount. Recently however it has started holding an inventory of products, like a traditional retailer, alongside the limited-time, discounted offerings.
The site claims over 7.5 million members in 20 countries, with over 400 employees. It has spawned a range of imitators although not all have flourished with one, Bamarang, closing in June this year.
"The ambition is to be a global marketplace where people come to discover great design," Dorée said. "We've got IKEA-sized ambitions."
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