Flash sales specialist Veepee was able to profit from the Covid crisis last year but this year is proving much more difficult. There are hardly any overstocks at the moment, so the e-commerce company has to adjust its business model.
3.8 billion euros
Veepee was founded twenty years ago by Jacques-Antoine Granjon and initially focused exclusively on the online sale of excess clothing supplies. In the meantime, the model focused on destocking has broadened its range to other products like consumer goods, electronics and wines. After a series of takeovers, including Vente-Exclusive in Belgium, the company now operates in eight countries.
In 2020, Veepee's global turnover rose by 8 % to 3.8 billion euros, mainly thanks to the Covid crisis and the forced store closures consequently. "People were buying more on the Internet, and the stores had to deal with a large surplus. We immediately decided that we would help them by buying the excess stocks. Thanks to us, many brands were able to survive the crisis", Granjon told the Belgian newspaper De Tijd.
The future, however, is a lot more challenging: because of the worldwide transport and raw materials crisis, it is much harder for Veepee to get hold of overstocks - because there are hardly any. "Their overstocks no longer go to us either, but mainly to the brick-and-mortar stores, which have reopened. Or to their own webshops, which have become more of a priority with the boom in e-commerce."
For this year, Granjon still expects stable sales. Due to global inventory problems, however, 2022 will undoubtedly be very difficult.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Veepee wants to become less dependent on stock sales. Everyday products such as store cupboard staples, beverages and personal care products will become more important. The company also wants to sell more holidays.
Nevertheless, according to Granjon, stock sales remain the most significant element. Does he not fear competition from bol.com or strong>Amazon, increasingly targeting that segment through their partner retailers? "Customers surf to those sites because they need something specific. They come to us to be surprised. They buy products that they do not necessarily need, but that they like", the CEO concludes.