Enters U.S. Market, Offering Stylish Designer Furniture Without the Premium Price

Jan 27, 2010, 13:00 ET from

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ --, the first internet platform to sell high-end designer furniture direct from the factory without intermediaries, resulting in premium products at manufacturer prices, will launch in the U.S. later this month. The site will launch with California delivery and roll out to the rest of the continental U.S. within 6 weeks.  The U.S. operations will be based in San Francisco and run by former executive Kara Parsons. revolutionizes the traditional distribution chain and redefines how customers will shop for home furniture and decor through three unique features: the ability to participate in online voting for future products, the ability to purchase direct from the factory and accessing an "on demand" production environment. In the end, the customer saves 50 – 80% off comparable retail prices, through elimination of intermediaries, high margins, overstock, and costly retail outlets.

In line with the principle of reverse marketing the customer is first given the option of voting for designs they prefer, with the highest ranked items making it into the product portfolio. After the community voting process determines the "winners," offers the most popular items for sale for up to 7 days.  Once the buying window closes, the aggregate orders are placed with high quality factories in China, the same ones used by expensive European design houses, which allows for on demand manufacturing of the exact quantity ordered.  Pieces are produced in a one month production cycle, after which ships the product from the factory to the customer's front door. Throughout the entire 2 - 3 month process, the website enables complete visibility to the various stages of production and delivery through its tracking tools.  Patience rewards the customer who gets a high-end designer item without having to subsidize extra transport, showroom or warehousing costs.  

Parsons, 45, will oversee the February launch, and will be responsible for helping headquarters grow sales in the U.S. Parsons, herself a home remodeling enthusiast, feels the timing is appropriate for the introduction of a new online furniture model. "The business model is unique and will resonate with the today's savvy consumer," said Kara Parsons, CEO of "Offering a perfect shopping outlet for the home design enthusiast, brings the democratization of design, coupled with the new belt tightening mentality of the American shopper. Shoppers today demand access to style and taste for their surroundings, without the steep price tag."

About democratizes the furniture market by offering premium products at manufacturer prices.  By eliminating intermediaries, excessive margins, and giving the customer direct access to "on demand manufacturing", prices are 50 – 80% lower than similar quality items.  All collections are unique and have been pre-selected by the voting community within  

Directed by CEO Stephane Setbon, one of the four founders, is already proving the model successful in Europe. Since its inception in April 2008, has acquired nearly 100,000 customers and is now selling in France, Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg.  Website traffic continues to grow steadily with nearly 1 million unique monthly visitors.  The site offers over 800 products in its portfolio including sofas, tables, chairs, beanbags, lighting, desks and wall art, with 2-3 new collections being introduced each week. is setting its sights on a Global Marketplace and is launching new countries each quarter. With more than $10 million in venture capital funding, the start-up currently has 150 employees worldwide, with headquarters in Shanghai, China.