PCH acquires US e-commerce website Fab.com

Move will give tech manufacturer another distribution channel for its products

Fab.com is a design based ecommerce site selling everything from beds to carpet tiles to gadgets.

Fab.com is a design based ecommerce site selling everything from beds to carpet tiles to gadgets.

 

PCH, the technology supply chain business founded by Liam Casey, has acquired US-based ecommerce design website Fab. com. The acquisition is part of PCH’s strategy of ramping up its distribution channels.

The value of the cash and equity deal is undisclosed, but previous reports suggested a figure of $15m (€12m) for the website, although Techcrunch reported on Tuesday that the website attracted seven bidders, pushing the sale price much higher.

PCH founder and CEO Liam Casey said he was “delighted” with the acquisition.

“We love the brand, the customer experience, and the focus on lifestyle products. We see an opportunity to reinvigorate the Fab audience – keeping the current focus, and adding a variety of more distinct and exclusive goods from designers. And because Fab has a flexible and dynamic technology platform, we have a good foundation to test new selling modes that will excite customers,” he said.

Fab.com is a design-focused company, selling everything from jewellery to art to gadgets. It was valued at $1 billion in June 2013 when it raised $150 million in a round that was led by Tencent, a Chinese internet giant. However it has struggled in recent years.

In recent months, the website has undergone significant restructuring, PCH said, “ to bring costs in line with sales, to stabilise operations, and to grow its core audience of urban professionals and design enthusiasts”.

As part of the deal, 35 Fab employees – including engineers, merchants, graphic designers and marketers – will remain with the company. Fab founder and former CEO Jason Goldberg has stepped down as CEO and will not be involved with the business going forward. Renee Wong, general manager since May 2014, will continue to run day-to-day operations.

PCH said it will make further key hires in merchandising and marketing and it will also explore forming a design advisory board and recruiting a creative director in residence.

“We will work with third party brands, as well as partner with industrial design firms and design schools around the world to identify up-and-coming designers and give them a platform to bring products to market on Fab,” Mr Casey said.

“We can take products from concept to manufacturing and deliver them straight through to customers, which means we have a lot of flexibility to do things differently.”

Last year PCH, which has a significant manufacturing operations and logistics facilities in Shenzhen, China, acquired Toronto-based ecommerce startup ShopLocket.