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Showroomprivé's international and mobile expansion continues

Published
today Dec 11, 2012
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Showroomprivé is really uping it’s international. The Belgian version of the site launched just a few days ago and the company's previous launch was Portugal. Last summer was the turn of Holland. Showroomprivé launched in Spain two and a half years ago, the UK nearly two years ago and in Italy one and a half years ago. France, however, still generates 80% of the company’s annual turnover.

Thierry Petit, CEO, is hoping to achieve revenue of 250 million euros this year, in comparison to the 180 million euros the company made last year. The biggest progress this year was seen in Italy, with a 200% increase in growth which is phenominal compared to Spain who grew at a rate of 20 and 25%. “Our presence is growing in both countries, but it is true that growth in Spain has been much gentler. Spanish consumers are very price-sensitive and that can be seen from their postage preferences. Though Italy is also struggling with national debt, there are still a certain amount of consumers over there that are able to spend.”

The private sale site now boasts popular brands in its selection

The company’s international expansion is not showing signs of slowing down either. Petit is looking to launch Showroomprivé in Poland in the first half of 2013, to be followed by Western Europe. “We’ve looked at Turkey and we are looking at Brazil, which is interesting because some of our capital funding comes from Brazil,” says the CEO. However, unlike rival Vente-privée, Showroomprivé is skeptical about Germany. “There is a greater risk in the German market. Of course we could make a profit over there, but the problem lies in profitability. Return on investment over there could be anywhere between 30% and 50%.

To be seen as a real market player, Showroomprivé counts on several factors. First is its selection of products on sale. The site has managed to position itself firmly as a number two behind its largest competitor, offering brand names like Puma, Desigual and Asics. Showroomprivé has also broadened its offering, now venturing into toys, travel and home furnishings. “Fashion items still represent 70% of our offers,” adds Petit.

The CEO has chosen to focus on advertising to help sell the concept to consumers, notably through TV ads. The most recent ad pushes Showroomprivé’s new app and its speedy delivery service. Delivery in under 24 hours is made possible by a team of 200 people working across 3 warehouses and is the preferred delivery option of 40% of Showroomprivé customers.

Smartphone activity is an important factor in increasing the site’s activity. “We have developed around thirty apps in total across of the countries where we are present,” says Thierry Petit. “Technological developments require hefty investments and come with the need for constant maintenance. Expenses are so high that they are considered a barrier to entry in e-commerce, even more so when you take into consideration the differences between each country. For example, the Spanish use the Android, whereas the French prefer the iPhone.” Thierry adds that “today, 25% of traffic and 20% of Showroomprivé’s revenue comes from mobile phones. If a certain sale sees 30% more buyers, two thirds of these come from a mobile device.”

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