By Joelle Diderich
with contributions from Laure Guilbault
 on September 5, 2016

PARIS – Vente-Privée.com said on Monday it bought a majority stake in Danish e-commerce web site Designers & Friends for an undisclosed sum, as part of its ongoing expansion through acquisitions in Northern Europe.

In the last year, the French flash sale pioneer has bought its competitors Vente-Exclusive.com in Belgium, Privalia in Spain and Eboutic.ch in Switzerland.

The acquisition coincided with French department store chain Galeries Lafayette Group’s announcement that it has acquired online private sales store BazarChic as a complementary digital sales platform to its physical Galeries Lafayette Outlet stores, as part of ongoing efforts to bolster its online offerings.

Vente-Privée cited “an increasingly competitive market with more and more specialized offline and online players.” Jacques-Antoine Granjon, founder and chief executive officer of Vente-Privée.com, reiterated the acquisitions form part of the company’s long-term vision.

“We respect the work done by the founders and leaders of Designers & Friends and we are very happy to count on their support in this new European adventure, which now extends to Scandinavia,” said Granjon, who founded Vente-Privée in 2001.

Frederik Kolenda, cofounder and ceo of Designers & Friends, will remain at the helm of the company. Its managers will report to Vente-Exclusive.com, which is in charge of developing the Vente-Privée.com group in northern Europe by maximizing synergies and know-how.

Founded in 2010 by Kolenda and Peder Wuth, Designers & Friends hosts flash sales of branded goods at discounts ranging from 50 percent to 70 percent. The acquisition comes after Vestiaire Collective, the European seller of pre-owned fashion, launched in Scandinavia earlier this year.

“We see the traditional wholesale business shifting to international online players,” said Michael Hillmose, head of international affairs of Dansk Fashion and Textile, noting that Zalando, H&M, StylePit, Asos, Boozt, Nelly, eBay and Amazon are currently among the largest players in the Danish online market.

Vente-Privée partners with more than 9,500 brands in sectors including ready-to-wear, fashion accessories, homewares, toys, sports equipment, electronics, fine food, wine, theater tickets and holidays, logging a turnover of 2 billion euros, or $2.29 billion, in 2015.

It operates in 12 countries: France, Italy, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Brazil and Mexico.

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