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Natalie Massenet

Founder and chairman, Net-a-Porter

As the luxury sector finally began to feel the effects of recession in mid-2009, Natalie Massenet proved that her innovative strategy for Net-a-Porter had paid off. The luxury etailer recorded a 40% rise in sales to £53.2m for the six months to August 1, with an even more impressive 56% profit jump to £7.1m.

Net-a-Porter’s strong performance is in stark contrast to some of its bricks-and-mortar rivals, including mini chain Flannels and Scottish-based Cruise, which have suffered from slowing consumer demand, high overheads and inflexible suppliers this year.

Massenet’s leadership and innovative approach to online retail saw Net-a-Porter launch discount, spin-off site The Outnet in April, a move which allowed Massenet to maximise the profit potential of stock clearance lines without compromising the Net-a-Porter business.

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