Interview with Fernando Maudo, managing director of Vente Privee Spain, collaboration entity with ‘Experiences of internationalization with success’ Workshops organized by the Master’s Degree in International Business of Carlos III University of Madrid We find out its origen and certain keys of its business model.
The international success of Vente Privee
The company dates back to the 2001 when three partners, who had been selling and buying stocks since 1985, decided to try an online business at a complicated time as the bursting of the Internet bubble happened in 2001. What remained of it was saved with the destruction of the Twin Towers. Then, they decided to create Vente Privee, a business model whose demand is significantly lower than supply. They bought stocks from fashion firms and make it available to customers during 3 – 5 days; those clients are the ones who have to wake up at 7am to shop online.
Vente Privee incipiently started its activity in 2001. In 2002 and 2003 the company had faced some difficulties, until 2004 when it experiences tremendous growth.
Then as now, we reach the year 2014 with a turnover of 1.7000 euro million and more than 80 products sold.
International presence in…
Vente Privee is focus on the European market, as we’ve presence in countries such as France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, Spain, Holland, Belgium and Austria.
We tried to enter into United States market last year, with American Express, and right now, we’ll do our best to obtain another opportunity within US.
Why include Spain on the International expansion strategy
Well curiously, after France, the Spanish market was one of the countries the company thought to include. On that moment, it was a Latino market what can be defined as a consumer society focus on great brands, fashion and, for sure, we knew Spanish people’s likes could be aligned with the offer ‘great brands at the best price’. Since we open here in Spain, the truth is that the success of our business model was amazing.
The next steps on the process of internationalization
The first thing Vente Privee wants to continuing to consolidate its presence in the main European markets. We’ve to take into consideration that we’ve a great deal of potential and there’re still opportunities for growth as we’ve presence in eight countries, which are the biggest ones.
In the short and middle term, we do not rule out the idea of entering into the market of northern European countries, Scandinavia, and as we are already in Spain so we do have to conquer the Portuguese market.
And in the second phase, we do not rule the idea of enter into Latin America markets, Mexico or Brazil for instance, and also in some country in Asia. However, today’s Vente Privee’s strategy is focus on Europe.
Thinking of selling on Internet? Here are some keys
The most important thing if you plan to sell on Internet is your business model has to be good. On Internet is often the creation of new ideas but not profitable ideas. So the first thing you need to do is make it both sustainable and profitable in the long term, to focus later on mainly on its implementation. In the online world, the project implementation is a complex issue as it’s highly sensitive to companies’ expenses even it seems an easy task just because entry barriers are low.
However, when you start up your own business project you realize that investment necessary for structures and resources is so huge that could lead to losses.
What I would do in an online world where there’s no barriers and where are able to sell national products on international markets worldwide, I’d be searching for profitability. That means we have to control our structural costs, and mainly dissemination costs in order to boost traffic to our websites.
Vente-privee.com is a French eCommerce company that pioneered the model of online flash sales also called event sales.