x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Desado gets inspiration from Fab.com for expansion after launch success

A Dubai design website modeled on the world's fastest growing e-commerce company is planning to expand across the GCC after recording month on month growth of 25 per cent.

Dubai design website that is modelled on the world's fastest growing e-commerce company plans to expand across the GCC after recording month on month growth of 25 per cent.

Desado.com, which sells décor, furniture, lighting, art and gifts, launched in mid-December and has already amassed 130,000 members.

It was inspired by Fab.com, the world's fastest growing e-commerce website, which has signed up 12 million members in less than two years.

"I was watching Fab.com also very closely," said Muhammad Chbib, the founder and chief executive of Desado, who used to run Sukar.com.

"Their slogan is everyday design. So they want to bring any kind of design to a broader audience. That's the concept I like very much, especially in the Middle East, where there is a lot of standard retail brands that you see everywhere."

Desado hired its first employee in October. It now has 40 and is seeking new premises to keep up with the demand.

"We are looking for a warehouse to expand to because we can't sustain staying in this place anymore," said Mr Chbib.

The company, which added an Arabic version of the site last month, launched in the rest of the GCC countries in mid-April.

The website can tailor offerings in different countries but the company also plans to open premises on the ground.

"We want to have a warehouse setting, a distribution centre in Saudi Arabia, so we can deal with product deliveries, rather than dispatching everything from the UAE," said Mr Chbib. "We want to be fully in charge of the entire customer journey."

Mr Chbib said he expects the company to open the warehouse and support centre in Saudi Arabia in the last quarter. It is also looking at establishing operations on the ground in Qatar and Kuwait, if demand calls for it. Outside the GCC, the company is considering launching the website in Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon, although it has some concerns.

"It's very frustrating for our customers when you order something that is $400 on a website and customs [adds] another $150. So before we extend to these countries we are trying to reach agreement with the authorities there to get a very e-commerce reliable mode of charging customs duties," added Mr Chbib.