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|Industry||E-commerce / online sales events|
|Founder||Jacques-Antoine Granjon (CEO) - Xavier Court - Claude Sorbac - Julien Sorbac - Michaël Benabou - Eléonore Sabates - Ilan Benhaïm - Philippe Naggar|
|Headquarters||La Plaine Saint Denis – Paris, France|
|Jacques-Antoine Granjon (CEO)|
|Revenue||€1.7bn ($1.89 billion) in 2014|
Number of employees
vente-privee.com is the French ecommerce company that pioneered the model of online flash sales (also called event sales). The site, that celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2011, was developed in an online environment to host sales of designer brands only for members with discounted prices from 50% to 70% off. These sales include a diverse selection of product categories: fashion, accessories, toys, watches, home appliances, sports equipment, technology and wines. The site has diversified its offer and now even travels, entertainment tickets and music are in sale. For example, the last album of the punk legend Iggy Pop, "Après", was launched by the site.
vente-privee.com was founded in 2001 by the current CEO, Jacques-Antoine Granjon, and his seven business partners. At the end of 2000 Granjon and his associates began to conceptualise the sale of end-of-season and overstock inventory through limited-time sales events on the internet. The principle was to fulfil supplier’s needs to quickly sell excess inventory, without harming the brand’s image or competing with other distribution channels. On 26 July 2007, Summit Partners acquired a 20% stake in vente-privee.com. The funding helped the company expand in Europe: first in Spain and Germany, then in Italy and UK, and more recently in Belgium, Austria and The Netherlands. In late 2011, vente-privee, in a join venture with American Express, launched the site in the US. However, it was announced in October 2014 that the US branch would be closed by the end of the year. 
vente-privee.com employs around 1,800 people (2012).
Most of them are based in the headquarters, located in the former printing factory of the French daily newspaper Le Monde, in La Plaine Saint Denis (Paris):
- A production team of designers (video and sound engineers, photographers, hair and makeup stylists, photo editors, web designers), IT specialists and sales coordinators
- An internal European customer services team who responds by email to members enquiries. The company also has external call centres based in Lille for operations in France, Barcelona for Spain, Frankfurt for Germany, Milan for Italy and Richmond (Greater London) for the UK.
The vente-privee.com concept is the organisation of designer brand sales events over a limited period of time (3–5 days), available only to members, for brands' end-of-season or overstock inventory. Until 2009 one had to be recommended by a member to become a member. Since early 2010, registration to vente-privee.com is open to anyone, probably according to its move to sell its 1 million optin emails database. Thanks to word of mouth, the site announced 18 million members in 8 European countries in early 2013.
How it works
48 hours before a sale takes place, an invitation email is sent to all members. Sales usually start at 6 am GMT on weekdays, and 8 am GMT on weekends, and last 3–5 days.
Since 2001, more than 30 other websites have emerged on this concept in France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Also some regular e-business websites have moved to the private sales as part of their offer (e.g.: cdiscount, showroomprive.com).
- 18 million members in Europe across 8 European countries
- 80 million visits per month
- On average more than 38 minutes spent on the site per person per month
- More than 1 billion page views per month with an average of 151 page views per person
- Over 60 million products sold in 2013 in Europe
- 1,1 billion euro turnover in 2011 (+11% on 2010)
- 1,3 billion euro turnover in 2012
- 1,7 billion euro turnover in 2014
- 2,5 million unique visitors per day
- 1 500 employees in 2012
- 1 800 employees in 2013
- 32% turnover in 2012 was generated through mobile (m-commerce) as well as 40% of visits to the site
- 63% (52.5 million) out of its 83.3 million monthly visits are via mobile (2014)
- Mobile commerce accounted for 42%, or €714 million ($799.6 million), of all web sales (2014)
- 25% of turnover generated from outside France
- Elected Customer Service of 2012 in Spain, in the categories Flash Sales and General Distance Selling (Study conducted by Sotto Tempo Advertising with the support of Gesfutur XXI, specialist in mystery shopping, and TNS).
- Elected 'French favorite fashion brand' by the firm OC&C Strategy.
- vente-privee.com received the award of the ‘Customer Service of the Year 2010 Award’ in two categories: event-based selling and general distance selling.
- Jacques Antoine Granjon’s success was recognized at the Booz&Company award ceremony as they’ve decided to award him with the ‘CMO of the Year’
- vente-privee.com won the ‘Favor’i des Internautes’ (internet-users favourite) prize at the ‘Nuit des Favor’i’ award event in Paris (FEVAD).
- Jacques-Antoine Granjon is nominated "Entrepreneur of the Year", during the BFM Awards, organised by BFM, financial radio and TV media,
- vente-privee.com wins the Year Innovation prize in the "Distance Selling/E-commerce" category at the LSA (Libre Service Actualité) Magazine Awards.
- 2007 Jacques-Antoine Granjon was voted 'E-Commerce Business man of the year' (Awarded by E-commerce Magazine 2007),
- During the Favor’i ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of FEVAD (French Federation of Mail Order Companies), Jacques-Antoine Granjon won the 'Favor’i d’Honneur' award recognising him as the most influential Distance Selling Businessman of the last 50 years. The website was also rewarded for being 'The Internet user’s Favor’i for exclusive online sales'
- vente-privee.com received the jury’s special award for the strongest growth of a European company founded within the last 10 years 'The Changing Times Award Audemars-Piguet'.
- Second nomination for 'Best e-commerce website in terms of customer satisfaction.'
- 'Innovation prize for the best French e-commerce website' and nomination for 'Best e-commerce website in terms of customer satisfaction' (Baromètre Direct Panel).
Notes and references
- Bowman, Jo (January 2010). "Private Ambition". CNBC Business.
- "Iggy Pop album shuns 'humiliating' record labels". The Telegraph. 10 May 2012.
- Schenker, Jennifer L. (11 January 2008). "Vente-privee.com Refashions Closeouts".
- "Interview: Vente Privée about its USA launch". Fashion United. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- "Vente-privee.com change d'avis et monétise sa base e-mails". Journal du net. 11 May 2010. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
- "Vente-privée.com recibe premio "Servicio de Atención al Cliente"" (in Spanish). Fashion United. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- OC&C Strategy Consultants (September 2011). Classement 2011 de l'attractivité des enseignes de distribution (PDF) (in French).
- (fr) Elu Service Client de l’année 2010
- (en) CMO of the year 2009
- (fr) La Nuit des Favor’i 2009
- (fr) BFM Awards
- (fr) LSA Year Innovation Prize
- (fr) Favor’i for e-commerce 2007
- (fr) Favor’i d’Honneur
- (fr) Favor’i for internet users,
- Baromètre Direct Panel
(English) Michael Barnett, 8 March 2012, Strategic Inconvenience, Marketing Week
(English) Isabella Naef, 13 October 2011, Granjon: Smartphone will be magic wand of consumption, Fashion United
(English) Eve Oxberry, 18 février 2010, Vente-privee reports 33% sales uplift, Retail Week
(English) Eve Oxberry, 18 février 2010, Vente-privee plans UK growth after strong 2009, Drapers