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Vente-privee is the European pioneer and leader of online event-based Sales. The business launched in 2001 in Paris, where it still has its headquarters, and this year opened a UK sales office under the leadership of UK country director Bunty Stokes.

The site operates as an exclusive private club that is free to join but only through referral by an existing member. Membership gives access to international designer brands offering discounts of between 50% and 70% off recommended retail prices. The Sales last between two and four days and are not advertised outside of the site.

Sales are brand specific and an extensive in-house team creates bespoke site content including film and photography, offering a unique virtual shopping experience. Vente-privee’s blogger Victoria Scott Richards is both informative and interactive and the site’s new VPbubble widget is a downloadable device that keeps members informed of Sales events and news without them having to log on to the site itself.

The brands are key to Vente-privee’s success and it has relationships with some 1,000 brands worldwide. In 2008, with a turnover of £491m, the company hosted more than 1,250 Sales and sold 28 million products.

Total membership stands at about 8 million and the UK site has already attracted 200,000 members.

To see an interview with Stokes go to

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