Vente Privee – not quite Amazon but getting there

Buying clubs are dull from an internet-web-app-startup-style point of view but boy do they make money. And it appears they scale too. European online buying club Vente Privee, which launched in the UK in September 2008 after a stellar run from its original French home base, has posted a half-yearly turnover of £290 million – a 40% increase year on year. The company is projecting a turnover of £557 million excluding taxes in 2009 (an increase of 27%). It also aims to organise 1,800 sales events (180 in the UK) with a portfolio of 850 different brands.

In the first half of the year the company held 870 sales events across Europe (93 of which were in the UK) in partnership with 850 brands which equates to a 47% increase on 2008. The site’s membership has continued to increase, reaching 8 million members by the end of June (160,000 UK members) – a 42% growth for the same period in 2008. The first six months of the year saw an increase of 33% in the number of parcels dispatched (6 million).