Jacques-Antoine Granjon is the eccentric billionaire founder of Vente Privée, the biggest flash sales site in the world. VP is a billion dollar company with almost as many imitators including New York-based Gilt Groupe.
He recently gave an interview to DirectorsOf.Com where he trashes his competition, whether they’re upstarts or big companies like eBay and Amazon, who are looking hard at the space.
Some choice quotes:
- On startup competition: “They create offers they can’t sustain. They may have raised money through private equity and have smaller margins but this will disappear. If you’re not good, after 3 years you will fail. (They’re) finance guys who think short term and want to build and sell. I want to build and build.”
- On eBay, Amazon and other big competitors: “They see this French guy doing it and they say: ‘Oh we can do that’. They have a lot of money and can buy it.” But, “they just don’t have the DNA of flash sales.” Flash sales is really a B2B business, where you have to have the brands on your side, not a B2C business, he says.
- On selling: “I could have sold the business but that was not my plan. … I have money to live comfortably and in Europe I can be very happy but there is more to do.”
- On growing: “We are doing over 1 billion. If we are good we can develop the company so why not €10 billion of sales?” But, “We don’t do growth for growth … If I have growth that is good – but it is not the main purpose. For me the main purpose is quality of service and having a good offering.”
- On inheritance: “I will not give the business to my children – they will make their own way. Too much money kills imagination.”