Business

Fab.com lays off 100 Berlin employees, tightens focus on NYC HQ

Fast-moving Fab has some sad news today. In a blog post, founder Jason Goldberg revealed his 700-person company has had to say goodbye to 100 employees in the startup’s EU headquarters in Berlin.

Although the company just rasied $150 million at a stunning $1 billion valuation, Goldberg said both the Fab executive team and its investors thought some efficiency measures were in order.

Now, Fab will centralize most of its operations in New York City, where the startup got its sea legs.

Over the past year or so, Fab has expanded operations internationally, largely through acquiring clones and other startups in areas as disperse as India, Germany, and the UK. It’s also been working with partners in Japan and China to bring Asian operations into the mix.

Things were going swimmingly, except for two issues: The startup’s flash-sales model meant it never had any consistent supply of inventory (making international shipping and fulfillment awfully tricky), and Fab’s free shipping policy meant everything going outside of the U.S. was bound to cost a fortune and take forever.

Earlier this year, the company ditched flash sales to be a design-focused online retailer.

Today’s news means a few things. First, Goldberg says, nothing will change for Fab’s customers in the EU. Second, around 30 Berlin employees are being asked to move to New York. Third, to maintain online retail operations in the EU, most Fab jobs in Germany and the UK will now be focused on the order fulfillment side of things — shipping, logistics, customer service.

“This is a strategic business decision, endorsed by our investors with whom we discussed this possibility, but that doesn’t obviate the sadness we feel in saying goodbye to the many people who helped put Fab on the amazing path we are on today,” Goldberg wrote.


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