Tuesday, December 9, 2014
But France’s ailing economy and its hefty taxes have dashed the dreams of Le Lit National - National Bed Company - which has just gone into receivership after a century of providing restful nights for the country’s rich and famous.
The news of its possible demise came last week as thousands of French bosses took to the streets in a week of demonstrations against government regulations and taxes that they say are choking companies, discouraging hiring and strangling the economy.
“We were told by a tribunal that they would help us by getting our VAT and social security contributions deferred, but they didn’t deliver,” she told the
These broken promises and a decision by the firm’s bank to pull the plug on their credit dealt a potentially lethal blow to the company whose 40 employees make around 900 handmade beds a year.
It has provided beds for French presidents and prime ministers since the time of Charles de Gaulle.
“Every time there is a new president we deliver a new bed,” said Mrs Péjaudier, who noted that the six foot five inch de Gaulle required an extra-long one.
Various African heads of state and members of the French jet set later joined the firm’s client list, but its elite clientele has not been enough to ensure its survival.
Mrs Péjaudier recently requested that her company be put in receivership to give it six months’ breathing space to try and secure fresh credit and work on its plans to tap into the export market, which it had previously largely ignored, selling the bulk of its products in France.
Various artisans who create, preserve and restore the national heritage are at risk; stonemasons who work on ancient cathedrals, cabinet makers, cutlery and knife makers, wood carvers, cut crystal glass makers, pottery and porcelain makers, silversmiths, carpet weavers, beaders and feather artisans who work for haute couture and the list goes on. Many of these are family owned and run. They pass on their skills to the next generation and take apprentices. Karl Lagerfeld, of Chanel, has even bought up several small workshops with a few employees who stitch couture by hand, embroider and bead, a dying skill.
Cara - Tuesday
at 2:21 AM