It is interesting to read this article about how the online flash sale market online has changed over the years. Flash sales was indeed one of the hot way to retail online. Companies like Vente-Privées.com has grown fast by proposing hard discount on premium marchandises bought in bulk and sold for a limited period of time (which created a feeling of emergency).
As the article outlines, the industry has hit a plateau. But why is that? It seems that the economic meltdown forced the premium industry to find alternative retail channels in order to sell those merchandises, even though if it meant to lower their margins. But as the economy is back on track, the industry don't need that much of flash sales.
Now the flash sale market remains pretty big, and even though some mergers may happen, the industry still have the keys to perform by finding new sectors and new product categories to deal with.