Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Thursday, 31 January 2013

ExCellar Ltd: why Simon bailed out of the Paris shop

Rue des Écoles, Paris (Google maps)

Turnover in the ExCellar shop in Paris had been in decline for several years – down by a third over three or four years. Not helped by a lack of stock due to suppliers being owed money. I understand that some 35,000€ is currently owed to ExCellar's French suppliers. However, the situation became critical at the end of November/beginning of December 2012 when the Direction Générale des Finances Publiques - service des Impots des Entreprises blocked ExCellar's French bank account with HSBC using a l'inscription de privilege. The French authorities took this action as ExCellar Ltd owed them around 18 months of social security payments for their employees (believed to be in the region of 100,000€) and some six months of TVA (VAT). 

The effect of blocking the account meant that monies taken by the business would go to the French tax authorities until the outstanding debt was paid off, so no chance of a profitable Christmas trading period. As already posted Baile arrived at the shop with a truck on Friday 7th December, emptied the shop and drove back to the UK. The Paris stock was then sold through the UK branches. 

In an OLN news report (14th December 2012) Baile said of the closure of the French shop:  “Next year we will also make changes to our Fulham and Farringdon stores. I would have loved to stay in Paris, but in the end it was just too hard. You can keep digging but then you have to stop.”

Not entirely candid in the light of the freezing of the ExCellar bank account by the French Government! 


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