Its inability to pay million-dollar debts has put Vietnam-based e-commerce platform Leflair at risk of being taken to court by disgruntled suppliers.
|Leflair seems to be unable to pay its debts |
About 500 suppliers of the newly closed e-commerce platform Leflair are on the edge because the firm has yet to pay out $2 million it owes.
Leflair’s office (Tan Binh district, Ho Chi Minh City) were submerged in silence in the morning of March 4. About 10 suppliers were waiting for the documents of debt reconciliation but no one welcomed them.
According to the building’s receptionist, in the recent two weeks, no staff members came to work, while suppliers have been arriving in mounting numbers to demand their dues.
Total lack of satisfactory answers
In a meeting with partners on March 2, Pierre Antoine Brun, co-founder and COO of Leflair, said that the company holds a total of $2 million in debts towards 500 suppliers. However, the company's account had less than $50,000 at the moment.
98 suppliers owed a total of VND40 billion ($1.74 million) gathered at the office on February 26 to work with the firm and authorities. Kim Dang, director of a company specialised in shoe supplies, was deeply unsatisfied with the results of the meeting.
Zing.vn quoted Dang as saying that the e-commerce platform has delayed paying for a great number of shoe orders since November. “The two months before the Lunar New Year was peak shopping season. So, when they [Leflair] urged me to supply more goods, I had no reason to doubt them. I was very busy at the time and was too careless to check our cashflows since November. Leflair owes us VND140 million ($6,090)."
“The legal representative of Leflair has never come out, and sending emails or calling them on the phone is useless. Co-establisher Pierre, despite working with us, could not offer a satisfying answer. I don't feel respected,” Dang added.
A group of suppliers lodged complaints against Leflair and its two co-founders to the Investigation Police Department, the Supreme People’s Procuracy of Vietnam, Vietnam Immigration Department, and the Consulate General of France in Vietnam.
Falling behind with salary and customer orders
Along with suppliers, many customers and employees have been left hanging since the company halted operations. A 35-year-old customer said that she has yet to received her goods ordered from Leflair despite having made full payment.
“I made three orders worth VND2.5 million ($108.70) from Singapore on February 11 and 21. The previous orders were performed very well, so I initially thought this delay was due to the COVID-19. However, to my surprise, there is no way to contact Leflair to ask about my order,” she said.
Meanwhile, a former employee of Leflair said that the firm still has not paid her February salary and she did not get her bonus for the Lunar New Year, and the cash prize for high productivity in December.
She also revealed that on December 25 Leflair fired 50,000 workers without compensation because they were running out of capital. At the time of officially closing, the company had about 100 employees in Vietnam and 40 in the Philippines.