Premier Cru and John Fox

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Jeff Leve
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Re: Premier Cru and John Fox

Post by Jeff Leve » Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:21 am

Thank you for your post. Sadly, I know about as much as you do. For the life of me, I cannot understand why Premier Cru has not gone bankrupt, or why they continue trying to make some customers whole. The situation has gone from bad to incredibly bad. Things really fell apart quickly. They have cut back on everything hoping for what? They are now online only, so no rent, and few, if any employees. It is sad. But it is also reality I am afraid. A lot of people will lose real money and employees are losing jobs.

Are you also waiting for wines?

Rcolacurto
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Re: Premier Cru and John Fox

Post by Rcolacurto » Thu Dec 17, 2015 2:32 pm

thank you Jeff for your reply

I started ordering from them 2.5 years ago and quickly accumulated a decent sized position, mostly single bottles as i was new to the hobby. when i realized how their business worked it was a year in and had 50 or 60 bottles waiting to 'arrive'. I began consolidating and returning for store credit and buying in stock items. I only kept the bottles that we a great value. I have it down to 10 bottles- 5 Bordeaux futures, 3 champagne and 2 high end Burgundy. Really disappointing not being able to get in touch with them because i was willing to play with in their rules. based on the length of time they had been in business i didn't think it would be a big credit risk just would be annoying to continuously redeem in an out till i had my position filled. i would be will to make a deal with them for money or wine if they would work with me on it but i guess i will have to figure out how to become a secured creditor. can you please let me know if you hear that they have officially filed for bankruptcy?

Jeff Leve
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Re: Premier Cru and John Fox

Post by Jeff Leve » Fri Dec 18, 2015 6:21 am

The problem is, if Premier Cru goes bankrupt, and that is a strong possibility, there will be NO money to distribute. Any money, and I doubt there is much will go to secured creditors. You and I, as well as all the other purchasers are not and cannot be secured creditors. You might get pennies on the dollar, but it is not likely.

david.bekhor
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Re: Premier Cru and John Fox

Post by david.bekhor » Fri Dec 18, 2015 7:05 pm

I ordered a shipment today of some wines that were pre-arrival and now in stock. They emailed me and are preparing to ship. I have been a customer for 15 years and always get my wine. Takes a bit longer than other retailers but these are wines I plan to hold for years anyway so I've never been in a rush.

Todd Spooner
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Re: Premier Cru and John Fox

Post by Todd Spooner » Tue Dec 29, 2015 9:09 am

Well I hate to say it, but it's starting to look pretty dire. I held out with a positive attitude for longer than I should have and finally saw the handwriting on the wall: I was no longer receiving those many email offers and the store's in stock inventory had been whittled down to virtually nothing. I contacted a customer service rep there with whom I had a good relationship. Without prompting he offered to issue me a refund and took my bank wiring information. Yeah, that was two weeks ago and still no wire. In the process I inquired as much as I could about what was going on there but hit a brick wall at every turn. The service rep was fond of saying that, having put in for my refund, it was now out of his hands. What a lame cop out.

Yesterday I noticed that the website no longer supports the link to their staff. And the service rep with whom I interacted has not returned my latest email. Quite possibly the coffers are empty and they can't pay staff anymore.

I'll be curious to ultimately see what really happened here, but at this point I have no expectations of seeing a nickel or another bottle of wine.

Jeff Leve
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Re: Premier Cru and John Fox

Post by Jeff Leve » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:25 am

I'm in the same boat with you Todd as far as Premier Cru. For the life of me, I just do not understand a few things. How or why is Premier Cru still issuing refunds, or delivering orders, if they are going bankrupt? It looks like Premier Cru is going to go BK. I am not sure why they have not already gone BK. They seem to owe a lot of money and wine, but the only person that really knows the extent of the potential liabilities is John Fox and he's not talking.

It's really too bad, as Premier Cru has been my go to wine merchant for years. Those types of deals are never going to be around again. It was good while it lasted.

Todd Spooner
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Re: Premier Cru and John Fox

Post by Todd Spooner » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:40 am

Wish I'd been in for the good times, Jeff. I began ordering from them with the 2010 Bordeaux vintage. And from the stories I've read, it sounds like the 2009 vintage was the beginning of the end. I ultimately received a tiny fraction of the wines I ordered, and none of the really pricey ones (of course). Well, it's only money, right?

If they have actually issued refunds or delivered wine in the past two weeks that would be interesting to know, because they aren't doing that for me. I had wines outstanding from 20 different producers. When I asked Peter Powlovich about an update on delivery of any of those wines he told me there was no information to be had. When I asked about sale of the store, same answer. In fact, he would not provide an answer to anything I asked about. So then he asked me if I'd like a refund - seemed like a no-brainer offer given the circumstances. He'd been helpful to me in the past and it seemed like he was trying to help me out while still being professional. Little did I know it was more of a no-money offer.

How can a business be around for 35 years and then all of a sudden start screwing people left and right? I don't like to jump to conclusions, but there are far too many stories of deception not to believe that is what happened here. Does a leopard change its spots? I will be curious to know the inside story.

Jeff Leve
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Re: Premier Cru and John Fox

Post by Jeff Leve » Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:34 pm

Todd, you know as much as I know about what is really going on with Premier Cru. I get my information off posters that have no idea either but they like hearing themselves talk on the Internet. I've been successfully purchasing from Premier Cru since 2000. A lot of my wines have come from Premier Cru. It's sad as many people are likely to lose money and or wine.

tkoby11
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Re: Premier Cru and John Fox

Post by tkoby11 » Wed Jan 13, 2016 12:42 pm

So is all lost? Jeff what are your thoughts now? I see you are also liek me a victim listed here?
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8JZFw ... ZleGs/view

I think we need to get this to criminal ASAP!

Jeff have you ever met John Fox?

Jeff Leve
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Re: Premier Cru and John Fox

Post by Jeff Leve » Wed Jan 13, 2016 8:24 pm

Tom... Yes, I imagine all is lost. From what I read, Premier Cru is 63 million dollars in the hole. That number is unfathomable to me. I'm far too lazy to read the entire filing, but I am sure plenty of people on Berserkers have read it in full. They have more time than I do :mrgreen:

I'm not sure where the money is in their assets but I imagine a large portion of that is in real estate, which will quickly go the banks or lenders. I doubt there is a lot of physical stock of wines available to be sold to recover any monies. I have no idea why they continued to send wines until the bitter end. It served little purpose.

What little money that can be raised in selling the assets of Premier Cru will go to lawyers, BK trustees and secured creditors. Even if none of those expenses were there, at best you'd be looking at the same ratio of debt to assets which is roughly .10 on the dollar. With those expenses, there will be absolutely nothing, or perhaps a few cents on the dollar.

This is a bad situation for everyone. I'm sorry if you're in this mess. I'm sorry I'm in this mess with Premier Cru as well.

Hopefully you are not out too much, or at least, over the years you were able to buy enough wine from Premier Cru for under-market prices that will take some of the sting away.

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