Brand Alley is aiming to double UK sales this year as the private Sales site looks to break into profit for the first time.

The French etailer expects to notch up UK sales of £36m, compared with £18.1m last year.

Brand Alley – which was set up in 2005 and has sites in France and the UK – expects to make its first profit in its current financial year, ending December 31.

Brand Alley chairman Sven Lung told Retail Week: “This year we should be in profit. We were only slightly negative last year. We’ve reinvested heavily into marketing but we’re seeing our ROI increase. It’s a healthy way to grow.”

Lung expects Brand Alley to hit £500m in group sales by 2015. Total group sales jumped 64% to £86.9m in its last financial year ended December 31, 2010.

The site, which is backed by media group News International, is seeking acquisitions to fuel growth. It is looking for a further private equity backer to invest £87m so it can snap up rival international sites.

This year it will begin shipping to all European countries to widen its customer base.

Its UK site – which invites members to buy discounted brands such as DKNY and Calvin Klein for a limited period – is breaking away from its private Sales roots by launching an online catalogue this autumn.

The catalogue, which aims to provide a continuous sales avenue for Brand Alley, will focus on discounted staple items such as denim, lingerie, homewares
and beauty.

Sales from catalogues account for 50% of its French website’s revenue and Lung thinks it could have a similar contribution in the UK. The etailer is in discussions with brands but none are yet confirmed.

Brand Alley is also building the number of brands it has on its site, and is aiming to add five to 10 mid-market to premium brands to the site each month.