Private sales website Vente-privee has enjoyed a sales increase of 40 per cent in the first half of this year. Sales rocketed to £290m for the period as shoppers took advantage of goods with more than 70 per cent off normal retail price.

The Paris-based retailer, which launched a UK site last year, has more than 8 million members and expects to hit sales of £557m this year. Vente-privee also has sites in Germany and Spain. To shop on the site you need to receive an invitation from an existing member.