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A Fab.com co-founder resigns at a turning point for the e-retailer
Leaving is Bradford Shellhammer, the self-described design geek behind Fab.
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Bradford Shellhammer, one of three founders of web-only retailer Fab.com, announced his departure from the online retailer today in a blog post.
The move comes one week after Fab.com launched a major web site and mobile app redesign, which company executives said marked the completion of its transition away from a flash-sale business model. Shellhammer leaves on good terms and remains supportive of the company, a spokeswoman says.
Both Shellhammer, and co-founder Jason Goldberg—they call each other “best friends” or “family”—wrote sentiment-filled blog posts today about his departure.
“All businesses go through evolutions and different phases, and Fab is no exception,” Goldberg wrote on his blog. “What once was a flash sales web site is now the everyday design store. Bradford feels now is the perfect time in Fab’s lifecycle and for his career for him to take a step back from Fab and pursue other adventures.”
Shellhammer says he is stepping down to pursue other “adventures,” but will remain a shareholder and non-executive advisor to Fab. “Fab is at a point in its history where I’ve decided to walk away from the day to day,” Shellhammer wrote today in his personal blog today. “Though Fab’s business model has evolved, the very core of Fab is where it was many years ago, when it was dreamt up by me and Jason in a restaurant in the West Village in the middle of our second bottle of wine.”
Shellhammer was the design talent behind Fab.com. Goldberg handles the day-to-day business decisions and Nishith Shah, the third co-founder, oversees technology.
Since its launch in mid-2011 as a flash sale retailer of design-inspired products, Fab.com has rolled out several web site upgrades, redesigned multiple times and launched new iterations of its mobile apps. These revisions have accelerated over the last six months as the merchant has moved away from limited-time sales of select items in favor of a more conventional retail model of stocking larger quantities of items that it sells for longer periods. Fab.com has said it is warehousing larger selections of the products it offers, allowing it to ship orders faster. The e-retailer also has laid off 200 employees in its European and New York offices, and expanded fulfillment capabilities in the U.S.
These changes occurred while the company completed several multi-million dollar funding rounds.
Friday of last week marked another major shift, with the launch of a redesigned e-commerce site with a more traditional look and feel. Category navigation menus frame the left side of the home page and a selection of hero images and promotional language scroll in the middle of the page. This is stark departure from the look of Fab.com just a year ago, when image panes from a selection of brands were laid out in tile format across the page and there was very little text on the page.
“We’ve completed our transition from a flash sales site to the Everyday Design store,” Goldberg wrote last week in a blog post announcing the redesign.
Fab.com is No. 150 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. The merchant brought in an estimated $150 million in online sales in 2012, its first full year in business.