Monday, September 29, 2014

I have a Love-Hate Relationship with

On the one hand, I love their cool, sleek, modern design and it's the only place to buy it at a reasonable price.  On the other hand, it's a pain in the Royal ass to assemble and I'm pretty certain that many a marriages have gone down the therapy isle due to this...

I do have a fondness for Ikea as it was the first project that Phil and I tacked as a married couple and I'm happy to say that despite the tears, arguments and downright walk-offs and walk-outs, we are still together.
So imagine my surprise when I learned about Hem, Fab's New Home Store.  Naturally, I signed up immediately and got this...
"Congrats! You are currently #107139 on our VIP waiting list. The VIP pre‑launch event will be in 1 days."
Hmm, doesn't feel so VIP right now but I guess time will tell when the Hem (Swedish for Home) site goes live tomorrow.
Launching in 30 markets across Europe and in the US, the company's private label offerings will ship directly to consumers, a model which aims to keep quality up and cost down. As CEO Jason Goldberg told Racked at the company's new Berlin headquarters last week, Hem—Swedish for "home"—is taking a cosmopolitan approach: "We're taking good European design and bringing it to the rest of the world."
Accordingly, the new company merges Fab's European operations with the furniture companies One Nordic (based in Helsinki) and MassivKonzept (a German startup), both recent Fab acquisitions. It worth noting that the company has long had Ikea in its sights.
Although Hem's global operations are based overseas, Goldberg says that the company expects a full 50% of its revenue to come from the US market initially.  In addition to its consumer-direct business in the US and Europe, Hem has also built out relationships with retailers all over the world, in places like Korea, Japan, Australia, Turkey, and South Africa.
"The decision to split the brand and the focus up here in Europe really came about for a few reasons," said Goldberg. "Fab meant certain things to certain people. It had a wide range of products. It was much more about value play. What I see as the opportunity here is a little more high-end-made-easy. So really high-quality materials and finishes, and the 'made easy' part is easy to buy the entire collection online...YES!, easy to assemble...YES!! and easy on the wallet...YES!!!. We want to really show people that it's not just about buying cheap stuff online, but getting high-quality products made more affordable and more effective because from the beginning they were designed to be sold online."
Read more here and let me know what you think, when the site goes live that is!
First Hem collection
Let's hope that Goldberg is successful at round two as he hones in on Ikea's market.  The Fab founder has yet to find mass market success in the retail world, but it's not for lack of trying.  
Keep trying Jason, keep trying especially if you can carry through on features like furniture that I can design myself, assembly that requires no tools and a direct partnership with European factories to "cut out the middleman" and drive down prices
I, for one, have faith in you if it means never having to wait in the dreaded take-a-number "return" line or, the "there was a muttrar och bultar missing in the 1/10 plastic bags that came with my bookshelf" line...
And when someone does help, you get into a lot of arguments.
If you've ever assembled a piece of Ikea furniture, I solute you and give you this bit of funny for you!

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