With more than 16 million members in eight European countries, this year e-commerce company and shopping platform Vente-Privee.com has generated a sales volume of €1.073 billion (up 11 % from 2011) and organized stock sales for about 1,500 brands. Launched in France in 2001, the company now runs offices in Spain, Italy and Germany and has 1,600 employees working together to develop and improve its web performance. On a recent trip to Düsseldorf, Sportswear International got a chance to talk to CEO and founder Jacques-Antoine Granjon. Interview by Lisa Dartmann

What are your current plans for the future?
This year we’ll grow at least 20%, which is quite a lot for a commerce company of this size. Our website is a major media platform for brands and artists, thanks to our over 16 million members and 2.5 million unique daily visitors. In the next 3 to 4 years we will double in size and become a company that does 50% of its business in France and the other 50% in the rest of Europe.

What are the most important countries for Vente Privee?
Our main focus is on Germany, which has high potential. It takes time to recruit members and create brand recognition, but if you put in long-term, quality work you’re bound to be successful. Of course, the crisis has made the market more difficult and has affected us as well, though Italy and Spain remain successful. As long as you offer a great product, you’ll continue making good sales.

What is the secret of your success?
Our success comes from the quality and constancy of our strategic service to brands and members. Once you develop quality service within a real business, you’ve already achieved some success. The most important thing is what you offer your members. We try to be desirable and we have to do good job because we are, in the end, a customer service company. My industry is in the inventory of brands; we concentrate on quality and we’re successful without the need of advertisements.

Which new ideas are you planning to implement?
We work with 1,500 brands in Europe and when we do our core business well, we get a lot of traffic. Part of our growth will rely on emphasizing cross-channelling activities and new sectors such as immaterial goods like coupons. We’re always thinking about how we can develop more areas and enter new fields. In September, for example, we started producing artists such as Karl Lagerfeld's supermodel muse Baptiste Giabicon, who just made a step into the music business. His first, recently released album is called Oxygen and is now sold exclusively through vente-privee.com.