April 4, 2013, 9:38 AM

A flash-sale pioneer is still growing

Vente-Privee grew revenue 22% and ran 40% more time-sensitive sales in 2012 than in 2011.

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Paris-based Vente-Privee.com, which created the concept of limited-time online sales to registered customers with its launch in 2001, says it ran roughly 40% more time-limited sales in 2012 than it did a year earlier. Those sales helped it sell more than 60 million products last year.

The retailer over the past few years has expanded into such new categories as wine, travel and tickets. Offering more deals helped the retailer generate 1.30 billion euro ($1.67 billion) in revenue in 2012, up 21.5% from 1.07 billion euro ($1.37 billion) a year earlier, the retailer says.

Vente-Privee, No. 14 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Europe, says mobile commerce is also increasingly important to its bottom line. The retailer says that 26% of its revenue, about 338 million euro ($434.2) stemmed from mobile devices last year.

The retailer says it has more than 18 million members dotted throughout the eight countries (France, Germany, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Austria and the Netherlands) where it operates. Vente-Privee launched in the United States in 2011, in a joint venture with American Express.

The retailer is focused on increasing its sales outside of France, says Jacques Antoine Granjon, CEO and founder of Vente-Privee. That’s why, for example, the retailer ran 630 flash sales in the United Kingdom last year, up 208% compared to the previous year.

“The objective is that Europe, excluding France, accounts for about half of sales in three years,” he says. That would be a large shift, as France accounted for 80% of the retailer’s sales last year.

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