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Vente-Privee is Banking on Joe Zee and American Express

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Joe Zee with Robin Domeniconi via Getty

The joint venture between, which was launched in France over a decade ago, and American Express just received a one-year-in-the-US-anniversary makeover—and a new curator. Joe Zee, stylist and creative director of Elle, signed on to curate the luxury oriented flash sale site. That means he gets to "shop like crazy" according to the man himself and a mini-Joe Zee icon will indicate "Joe's picks" within each boutique.

The revamped site also recognizes a division among internet shoppers. The format appeals to both "clickers" and "scrollers," which, if translated to traditional brick and mortar parlance, corresponds to "the in-and-out shopper" and "the browser," respectively. You can either skip straight to the boutique that strikes your fancy or meander through all of them at your leisure. They hope the updated look combined with strongly branded boutiques as well as Zee's curatorial eye will create enough compelling content to attract new shoppers. But that's not their only plan of attack.

Because of the partnership with American Express, Vente-Privee has access to much of America's luxury customer, a feature that the site's marketing vice pres Robin Domeniconi claims as their not-so-secret weapon for staying relevant in light of flash sale site fatigue. Although she noted American shoppers of all incomes are much more comfortable with buying product on sale than their European counterparts, the majority of the site's high rolling clients weren't familiar with the flash sale concept. Or as she explained, "We found that for 70% [of our shoppers], we had to explain what a flash sale was."

Zee, for his part, can't understand why not flash sales? "I don't care what your income bracket is, if you can find great stuff for a lower price, why wouldn't you shop it?" Word.
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