Vente-Privee, the French luxury online shopping site, is to exit the US market after it was revealed that its joint venture with American Express will close by the end of the year.
France-based Vente-Privée landed to the U.S. in 2012. The stateside operations were structured as a separate joint venture between Vente-Privée and American Express with each party putting up $20 million. But later this month, American Express made it official: “American Express and Vente-Privée France have made a mutual decision to close Vente-Privée USA by the end of the year. Vente-Privée USA will continue to operate and fulfill on its sales events and customer orders through the end of the year and will maintain a high quality of service to its brand partners and members”.
Vente-Privée said in a statement: “Over the past three years, Vente-Privée made many noteworthy achievements in the US market, including over $50 million in sales this year. The company does however acknowledge that an exponential amount of time, resources and financial investment would be required to achieve significant growth in the US with the current model. While Vente-Privée will maintain its focus on key markets where the potential for growth is much greater and can be achieved much quicker.”
American Express could decide to dismantle the deal a month ago, according to the American company, Vente-Privée USA wasn’t profitable and it wasn’t growing. American Express said the decision to close the joint venture was a mutual one as the road to profitability in the US was going to take longer than expected. Vente-Privée had an option to buy out the American Express ownership, but declined.
But, the fact that just three weeks ago, Vente-Privée CEO Jacques-Antoine Granjon told that he “sees a vast market opportunity” in the U.S. market, made may indicate that this could be a last-minute decision or a decision no one wanted to take.
Vente-Privée USA has just over one million registered users, “not much” compared to its competitor, My Habit, which has eight million users.