French Flash Sale Site Comes to the U.S. with the Help of American Express

May 13, 2011 • Fashion, Shopping

Don’t look now but there’s a new flash sale site gearing up to launch—and this one’s French! One of the first flash sale site in France, Vente-Privee has just inked a 50/50 deal with American Express to create an as-yet-unnamed U.S. flash sale site to be launched late this year or in early 2012. According to WWD, the two companies will invest around $35 million in cash and an estimated $5 million in human capital and technology transfers in the venture, which is expected to generate turnover of $500 million within three or four years.

In the grossly competitive American flash sale market—who has Gilt Groupe pulling in over a billion dollars and consumer giants like Amazon adding their own sales like Myhabit—Vente-Privee knew they needed a notable partner if they were going to break any ground. The site will reprtedly combine Vente-Privée’s extensive database of offerings with American Express’ luxury cardholder base. Initially it’ll experiment with different incentives to see which ones catch on with consumers visiting the site.

And how extensive is the French site’s database? Vente-Privée apparently partners with more than 1,200 brands in more than a few sectors: ready-to-wear, fashion accessories, homeware, toys, sports equipment, electronics, fine food, wine, theater tickets and holidays. Some brands available on the Vente-Privée site include Givenchy, Armani Casa, Dolce & Gabbana, Nike, Adidas and Swatch. The French site was the first, followed by launches in Germany, Spain, Italy, the U.K., Belgium and Austria. So clearly, they may know a little about the business.

Although the outline for the site is still sketchy at best, the plan is to get the site up and running in time for the holiday season. But american Express executives noted that if it came down to it, they would rather get the site and launch details done correctly, even if it means waiting until the beginning of 2012. Well, we know we’re already waiting with bated breath.

-Alia Rajput

Article Source: WWD

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