BrandAlley cashes in while high street declines

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The Independent Online

Shoppers looking for bargains via Facebook and their mobile phones have boosted turnover at BrandAlley, the online designer brands retailer.

In the face of tough sales on the high street, Brand Alley has seen a 60 per cent spurt in turnover in its 2011 results.

It will reveal this week that turnover jumped to £28.9m for 2011, up from £18.1m the year before.

The website holds "flash" sales for members only of up to six designers each day, with brands including Calvin Klein and Vivienne Westwood.

Sales through its Facebook page are on average £4 higher than through its own site.

Brand Alley Group, which was founded in Paris in 2005 and is now France's second largest member-only private sales online retailer, launched the UK site in 2008. The UK site is part-owned by News International, the owner of The Sun and The Times.

Management said it is on course to make a profit in 2012.

Retailers with bricks and mortar shops are about to face one of the toughest months of the year. Tomorrow is a quarter rent day – where retailers have to pay the rent to cover the next three months. Although many retailers have moved to a monthly payment scheme to spread out the hefty payments, CBRE has found that 88 per cent of retailers will still need to pay the rent for the quarter tomorrow.

With trade still tough retailers will also be facing VAT payments at the end of April, making this quarter rent day a testing time.