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Stokes to leave Vente-privee as it retrenches to France

Vente-privee country sales manager Bunty Stokes is to leave the business, following a decision by the off-price etailer to scale back its UK office to just two staff.

As revealed by Drapers in November, Vente-privee has done a U-turn on its strategy to buy product on a territory-by-territory basis and will instead leverage its scale to strike international deals.

It will continue to operate a London office but has reduced its head count from eight staff to just two UK commercial managers, Christina Piggott and Samantha Lavin.

Commercial manager David Singleton has left the business and Stokes will leave in a few months time by “mutual agreement”.

Stokes told Drapers: “It makes sense under the new international strategy that it is managed from Paris. It is clear that with the new structure they don’t need someone of my seniority based in the UK.”

She added that she would remain with Vente-privee for a few months to manage the handover of the business. She said she was likely to then go on gardening leave.

Stokes joined the etailer in June 2009 from its rival BrandAlley, where she was sales and merchandising director.

The UK business will be managed from the Vente-privee head office in Paris by jeanswear team manager Jason Visse-Demortier. The remaining UK staff will source UK product for the international market, and manage relationships with the UK offices of international brands.

Vente-privee operates in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Austria and the Netherlands. It is understood that it is also investigating launching in
Scandinavia.

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