Los Angeles Business Journal

Online Vendor Looks to Click With Euro Markets

RETAIL: JustFab expands overseas toehold with acquisition of Fab Shoes. By Natalie Jarvey Monday, May 27, 2013

Call it a coincidence that JustFab has scooped up two e-commerce companies this year that already had “fab” in their names. But it’s no fluke that the El Segundo retailer’s latest purchase introduces the company to two key European markets.

Executives at JustFab, known for its shoe-of-the-month subscription model, have been talking about conquering Western Europe ever since the company raised a large round of financing last summer.

Now the online retailer has acquired Fab Shoes, which sells shoes and accessories in France and Spain, for an undisclosed price. The deal gives JustFab operations in those countries, expanding on its Western European foothold in Germany and the United Kingdom.

JustFab plans to convert the Fab Shoes business – and its half- million customers – to the JustFab brand by July.

The company will retain the 12-person Fab Shoes team as well as its offices in Paris and Barcelona, Spain. Pablo Szefner, Fab Shoes chief executive, will become JustFab’s managing director for France and Spain, and Xisco de la Calle, Fab Shoes chief operating officer, will become vice president of operations for Europe.

JustFab’s fashion club – which charges a $40 subscription fee each month – went international last year when it opened a European headquarters and order fulfillment center in Berlin and a satellite office in London. The retailer now counts 1.5 million European subscribers and plans to have operations covering the majority of Western Europe by the end of next year.

Adam Goldenberg, JustFab’s co-chief executive, said the company was looking to establish offices in France and Spain when it found Fab Shoes. The decision was made based on the talents of the team more than Fab Shoes’ customer base.

“One of the most challenging parts of building an international company is finding the right country manager and Fab Shoes had that,” he said. “It was the right time, the right place and the right price.”

Spending spree

JustFab has been flush with cash for acquisitions since raising a $76 million funding round last summer led by New York’s Rho Capital Partners with participation from existing investors Matrix Partners and Technology Crossover Ventures, both in Palo Alto. The company has raised a total of $109 million in funding since 2011.

JustFab’s first purchase was children’s e-commerce service FabKids in January. The San Francisco company, which counts actress Christina Applegate as a creative partner, sells outfits for kids under a similar monthly subscription model.

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