Furniture site Fashion4Home, which launched in Germany in November of last year, is launching in the US today. The site will offer US shoppers 80 models of contemporary furniture across 12 categories, including exclusive designs, at 30-50% lower than traditional retail prices [update: a spokesperson for the company, tells us its prices are actually 50-70% lower than retail]. The launch comes just a few days after China-based on-demand furniture maker Myfab announced its own US launch.
Cofounder Just Beyer believes Fashion4Home’s emphasis on social networking integration, specifically feedback and comments, sets it apart from competitors in the space, such as Myfab and traditional retailers with an online presence, such as Design Within Reach and All Modern. The comments are collected manually at this stage, but designers are excited about having nearly instant feedback, allowing them to create new iterations of their designs.
The US site will be very similar from a technology perspective to the German site, with a few differences in assortment and layout. The emphasis is on setting up a fast supply chain and “getting good ideas from concept to prototype to shop as fast as possible. The German site has seen sales growth of 200-300% month over month since its launch.
Fashion4Home pays designers monthly, as opposed to the traditional model, in which a provision is paid a year after the product launches. Fashion4Home is also working on letting designers freely upload sketches and letting non-designers upload photos, with the opportunity for others to comment and vote on them.
Beyer would like to see a seasonal furniture market, similar to that of the fashion industry, evolve, and he believes the site helps by offering lower prices and innovative designs. Fashion4Home is working on a sustainable, eco-furniture range, including pieces made from bamboo, which will be available for the launch of the US site.
The company has offices in Berlin and China, including 7 people who check quality in China. The company is backed by Rocket Internet, an affiliate of the European Founders Fund and the three Samwer Brothers, who have invested in Facebook and LinkedIn, with secondary investments from Holtzbrinck.