Members-only sales clubs have been a surprisingly attractive investment target for private equity firms in 2010. Industry insiders have been branding this sector as “the new cleantech”, having seen at least 10 small to medium private equity deals being completed in the area over the past 12 months. Here I give an overview.

The shopping clubs, which secure bargains for consumers by selling out-of-season garments or buying items in bulk, entice new members with discounts of up to 70% on designer clothes. The business model was started by Vente-Privee.com, a French company which runs timed events during which shoppers could buy wares at cut-price rates. (…)

 

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