Summary:

Design flash sales site Fab.com has been on a tear in its first three months, racking up 600,000 users in 12 weeks. Now the company is trying to kick-start the idea of online pop-up stores with a new series of limited-time retail shops inside of Fab.com.

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Flash sales site Fab.com, which sells unique design products, has been on a tear in its first three months, racking up 600,000 users in 12 weeks. Now the company is trying to kickstart the idea of online pop-up stores with a new series of limited-time retail shops inside of Fab.com.

Pop-up stores, which are familiar to many shoppers, appear in empty store fronts, timed with particular seasons or product launches. Fab.com believes there’s a market for these kinds of stores online when they bring together an interesting collection of items around one theme.

New York City-based Fab is working with Fast Company on its first pop-up shop, called U.S. Design, which will showcase the work of some 76 American designers featured in Fast Company’s U.S. Design iPad app. The shop, curated by Fast Company and hosted by Fab will stay open for 30 days and will feature about 150 items, from barstools and eye glasses to ice cream scoopers, planters and Herman Miller chairs. Any purchase will include a year’s subscription to Fast Company.

Fab CEO Jason Goldberg told me his company is looking at the opportunity created in what he called “ecommerce 2.0.” Instead of first generation ecommerce sites like Amazon that offer a wealth of products, Fab’s pop-up shops focus on shoppers who like to discover new things and enjoy the excitement around limited-time sales.

“Pop-up shops go against ecommerce 1.0, it’s about scarcity and it’s curated,” he said. “Part of the deal is the excitement that things are available for a limited time.”

Goldberg said Fab expects to launch about five stores before the end of the year, and hopes to eventually run about two or three concurrently at any given time. The next pop-up store will be a special t-shirt shop curated by Fab and stocked with products from famous designers. Goldberg said other stores could be built around a theme, or could be seasonal like a holiday shop. But all of it will come back to Fab’s focus on providing consumers access to inspirational designs.

The company is on pace to do more than $10 million in sales this year since launching in June, and has sold more than 160,000 products. Next up for the site is mobile application for iPhone, iPad and Android, and additional social integration to further build the Fab community.

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