Foreign owned e-commerce company owes $2 mln to suppliers

By Dy Tung   March 5, 2020 | 07:30 pm GMT+7
Foreign owned e-commerce company owes $2 mln to suppliers
The office of Leflair in District 10, Ho Chi Minh City was closed on March 4, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Kim Hanh.

Hundreds of suppliers of e-commerce website Leflair are accusing the company of not paying them after shutting down operations.

The online seller of clothes, household items and cosmetics stopped partnering with local suppliers in early February before ceasing operations.

Pierre Antoine Brun, co-founder and chief operating officer of the Ho Chi Minh City-based company, said at a meeting with suppliers on Monday that the company owes $2 million to 500 suppliers, but has less than $50,000 in the bank.

Some 100 suppliers have said they have not received payments from the company which were due between December and February, and the shutdown announcement caught them by surprise.

Kim Hanh, a footwear supplier, said she and some other suppliers went to its office in District 10 on Tuesday and Wednesday but was informed it had been closed for two weeks. She said it owes them over VND132 million ($5,700).

A supplier who asked not be identified said: "I just want a Leflair representative to confirm the debt and give me a due date."

Leflair has said to suppliers via email that it plans to hold another meeting with 50 suppliers on March 10, claiming that while it could not meet all 500 suppliers, it has no intention of leaving Vietnam and is making every effort to resolve the issue.

One of the suppliers has sought authorities’ intervention, while others are unclear whether they will be among the 50 invited to the meeting.

The company said it is holding discussions with some strategic investors, and they require a full list of debts, including those to suppliers.

Some customers have said they did not receive delivery despite making payment, and employees claimed they have not been paid.

Leflair was established in 2015 by two French businessmen claiming to sell authentic products from world-famous brands and has raised almost $12 million from investors.

The company said during its four years of operations it had served over 120,000 customers and earned annual revenues of tens of millions of dollars.

 
 
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