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Fifty Jeans is the jeans brand founded by Walter Lahmi in 2016: “Considering the state of the jeans market today, I figured that the price of around €100 for a pair of jeans was too high. So what we wanted to do was to propose quality jeans, to compete with the big brands, retailing from €49.90. At the moment we have 150 client retailers.”
Most of the company’s suppliers, including their production plant, are based in Bangladesh and they demand payment with the order. When it was founded, Fifty Jeans did not have sufficient cash flow and decided to contact Webhelp Payment Services.
“Our recommendation was quite simple: to use the customers who have placed orders with you as a lever,” explains Aline Abeya, Sales Manager France & Benelux at Webhelp Payment Services.
Taking the list of the company’s retailer clients, Webhelp Payment Services determined a “payment confidence score” based on their financial analysis and their history of payment with Webhelp Payment Services. This list was sent to its partner, Lea Trade, which was able to pay on behalf of Fifty Jeans for its supplies by means of a letter of credit for more than €200,000.
For its part, Webhelp Payment Services guaranteed upfront its capacity to recover the payments from the retailer clients of Fifty Jeans, in order to reimburse Lea Trade. What is more, Webhelp Payment Services put in place a credit insurance scheme. This entire arrangement remained entirely transparent for Fifty Jeans.
This all culminated in Fifty Jeans enjoying a successful sales campaign for Q1 2018!
Within this tripartite contractual framework, Fifty Jeans ultimately had nothing to pay out: from the orders of its clients through to their delivery and the first payments in September.
For companies that are less than two years old, and which do not have sufficient capital, this kind of solution is heaven-sent, since banks tend to be very reluctant to lend to these young start-ups!
“In practice, young companies need to assure a gross margin greater than or equal to 30%, to guard against all risks and solidly finance their development,” François Rossignol concludes.
Well-known in the fashion business, Webhelp Payment Services and Lea Trade Finance have been in partnership since 2015 to propose their combined services to 2 types of company:
– small companies, recently created and growing fast;
– mid-sized companies, which are still growing or which have reached a development plateau.
These services concern cash flow and are proposed end-to-end, i.e.: from Purchasing (cash outflow) to Sales (cash inflow).
“The idea is to outsource completely the cash flow problem, and entrust it to specialised players,”, explains François Rossignol, founder and CEO of Lea Trade Finance.
In concrete terms, this means the Purchasing / outflow aspect being handled by Lea Trade Finance, and the Sales / inflow / collection aspect by Webhelp Payment Services.
“We provide a financial solution that is simple and quick to implement for companies encountering difficulties. This prevents them from having to fall back on other well-known solutions, but which are more complex, risky or unsure, such as increasing capital or taking on bank loans, completely unsuited to their immediate needs,” Mr. Rossignol adds.
This allows the client companies to extricate themselves from a tricky situation, so that they can procure their supplies, deliver to their clients in timely fashion, issue their invoices, get paid within a reasonable period, etc.
“The outsourcing of cash flow issues allows fashion companies to generate sufficient margins to grow or maintain their business level, with total peace of mind, and while remaining focused on their core business,” says François Rossignol.
Many international fashion brands, including some very well-known ones, make use of this type of service.
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