March 21, 2012, 9:27 AM

A European retailer catches the early-bird shopper

About 10,000 shoppers visit Vente-Exclusive’s web site each morning to find deals.

Peter Lucas
Lead Photo

Belgium-based flash sale operator Vente-Exclusive N.V. knows what products catch the eyes of its prime customers, women ages 25 to 45 who live in Belgium and the Netherlands. That’s why, on average, about 10,000 of those shoppers visit Vente-Exclusive’s web site each morning between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.—a.k.a. the morning shopping rush— using their smartphones.

They’re visiting the site to access discounts of up to 70% on overstock brand name apparel. Members typically receive a 50% discount on any of the 400 fashion and lifestyle brands in Vente-Exclusive’s portfolio. To ensure its deep discounts, Vente-Exclusive secures the available overstocks from the manufacturer or supplier for the duration of the sales, each of which usually lasts four to six days.

Some of the most popular items sold on the site include women’s fashion apparel, lingerie and accessories. In 2011, Vente-Exclusive sold more than 1 million items on the site, nearly double the number sold in 2010. “Our mainly female audience loves to buy these products,” says Peter Grypdonck, CEO of Vente-Exclusive.

Tailoring its offerings to those shoppers helped the retailer boost its sales in 2011 to 30 million euros (US$39.6 million), up 81.8% from 16.5 million euros (US$21.8 million) in 2010. 

Because many of its shoppers access its site via their smartphones, Vente-Exclusive, No. 228 in the Europe Top 400, launched an iPhone app in June 2011. Since then, more than 20,000 of its 1.5 million customers have downloaded it.

For the first time the Top 400 Europe is available in three forms: print, digital and as part of the all-new and completely updated Top500Guide.com. Information on how to order the Top 400 Europe is available here.

Alexis Maybank, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Gilt Groupe, will give a keynote address—“The Gilt Groupe: Innovative ways to connect with today’s consumer”—at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 in June. The IRCE $200 early-bird discount expires Mar. 31.

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