News will launch furniture and décor site

July 8, 2014 09:27 AM, an e-retailer of design-inspired products, will launch in October. Hem, which is Swedish for “home,” will sell furnishings designed in-house that can be shipped quickly, assembled by consumers with few, if any, tools and at prices less than traditional furniture retailers, CEO Jason Goldberg says in an e-mail sent to customers. is being created in part out of companies acquired. These include Massivkonzept, a Hamburg, Germany-based custom furniture retailer Fab acquired last year, and One Nordic Furniture Co., a Scandinavian seller of high-end designer shelves, tables, lighting, chairs and similar products that Fab acquired in June. Fab says its design team is working with factories to manufacture the products that will be sold on, a move it says will allow it to “to ensure the highest quality craftsmanship while passing along the lowest possible prices to consumers.”

The site will also allow customers to use customization tools to get the products they want for their home, such as picking fabric colors or putting together a custom wall unit to fit their exact space. has offices in Helsinki, Finland, and Stockholm, Sweden.

The Hem launch comes as continues to evolve from the flash-sale retail business model it launched with in mid-2011 and which propelled its seemingly overnight success: Fab sales grew more than 538% from 2011 to 2012. The company has raised more than $336 million in funding from investors to date. It moved away from the flash-sale model about a year ago in favor of a more conventional retail strategy of stocking larger quantities of items that it sells for longer periods and warehousing larger selections of the products if offers, allowing it to ship orders faster.

A redesigned site debuted in November 2013 with a more traditional look and feel, and one of the three founders of, Bradford Shellhammer, left the company. (Shellhammer resurfaced this spring as the chief design officer of outdoor gear e-retailer, a unit of Liberty Interactive Corp., No. 6 in the Top 500 Guide.)

The transition from flash-sale retailer to a more traditional online retail business model also triggered several rounds of layoffs at In the most recent layoff in May the e-retailer cut 80 to 90 workers in Fab’s New York City office. Those cuts represented one-third of the e-retailer’s global team. sales grew 21.7% from 2012 to 2013, according to Internet Retailer’s 2014 Top 500 Guide, where ranks No. 183.




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