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Fab redesigns site, acquires German furniture maker

The flash-sales site revamps its online and offline presence to include more custom products and, of course, more emphasis on design.

Fab's first showroom opens today in Hamburg, Germany.

Fab says it's changing direction again and this time it's to fully cement itself as a design-focused online retailer with new Fab-exclusive products and the acquisition of a German startup that sells custom-made furniture.

"This time, we would do it gradually -- over 16 months it turns out, and with 600 amazing teammates alongside us -- but methodically, from our start as this interesting flash sales website for design to The World's #1 Design Store," CEO Jason Goldberg wrote in a blog post Tuesday. "We planned this pivot and mapped out how to do it over the course of these 16 months because we realized that we were on to something much bigger and more long-term sustainable than flash sales."

Fab's new home page. Fab

The move comes with a complete redesign of the company's Web site -- live today in the U.S. with the Europe site going live in coming weeks -- and an expansion to France. Fab's presence in France means the company serves 99 percent of the EU, according to Fab.

The company promises improved search, a better browsing experience, and more social elements, according to this promo video:

The site will also feature new exclusive Fab-branded product lines, including "Fab Designed By You," a result of Fab's acquisition of the Germany-based MassivKonzept, which lets customers order customized furniture online. The service is currently live just for European customers.

As part of the MassivKonzept acquisition, Fab is also getting its first physical retail presence -- a showroom in Hamburg, Germany -- with plans to launch another in Berlin.

Here's how Fab describes its transition, in slides, from the "Gay Yelp" to a design-focused e-commerce business: