Spain’s Privalia Group rides surging sales

The fashion apparel retailer predicts strong growth on its new IBM platform.

Paul Demery

Since launching in 2006 as a flash-sale web retailer, Barcelona, Spain-based Privalia Group has grown to several hundred million euros in international sales, the retailer says. It’s now looking to continue that growth rate on a new IBM Corp. e-commerce platform that will run the five international versions of flash sale Privalia.com and Privalia Group’s relatively new dress-for-less.com, which is based in Germany and sells off-price designer apparel in non-flash sales to consumers in 61 countries.

Privalia, No. 42 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Europe, posted 2012 sales of 422.5 million euros (about $543.5 million), up 32% from $320.1 million euros in 2011. Privalia purchased dress-for-less.com in March 2011 to expand beyond flash sales to enter what it calls “permanent outlet” sales. “In recent years our global sales numbers have been growing annually, and in 2012 that trend has continued thanks to the growth of e-commerce in the markets in which we operate and a strong multichannel management,” says Lucas Carné, co-founder of Privalia.

Privalia.com specializes in running single-brand apparel and accessories merchandise offers over three to five days, while dress-for-less offers off-price fashions not restricted by limited-time sales. The retailer, which claims some 15 million member consumers across Spain, Italy, Brazil, Mexico and Germany, up from six million in 2010, also offers a Privalia mobile shopping app for Apple and Android devices, with more than 1.8 million downloads worldwide, Carné says.

To support its multichannel retail operations, Privalia runs Privalia.com on IBM’s Smarter Commerce technology platform, which includes WebSphere Commerce for e-commerce technology and other IBM applications for online marketing, connecting with social media, operating mobile commerce and managing product procurement and supply chains, Carné says. Privalia expects to migrate the dress-for-less web site to the IBM platform in the first half of this year, he adds.

“It was crucial for us to find a multichannel solution that gives us the maximum modularity and enables us to continue innovating,” he says. Privalia has spent about 2 million euros (about $2.6 million) deploying the IBM technology, he adds.


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