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Lotte Group products face massive boycott
Publication Date : 17-07-2012
Consumer and self-employed groups announced on Monday the start of their boycott against Lotte Group products.
The Consumers’ Association to Save Small Businesses teamed up with 2 million members of about 80 self-employed business associations who run restaurants, bars, clubs, screen-golf clubs and lodging businesses to participate in the boycott for an indefinite period.
More than 600,000 restaurants, clubs and karaoke bars will no longer sell Lotte’s liquors such as Scotch Blue, Cheoeumcheoreum or Asahi Beer, as well as drinks like Icis, Pepsi Cola, Chilsung Cider and Ceylon Tea.
The small businesses are going into group action against South Korea's No.1 retailer as their request to Korea Chainstores Associations last month was not accepted. They had demanded that large marts take mandatory days off on Sundays and that credit card commission rates be reorganised.
“We are starting the boycott because Korea Chainstores Associations and large marts refused our requests. We hope this boycott will be an opportunity to understand that for us self-employed workers, it has to do with the right to live,” wrote the organisations in the letter sent to Lotte Group on Friday.
Oh Ho-seok, head of the Consumers’ Association to Save Small Businesses, pointed out that large marts are taking over more than half of the retailing market.
“We are not making unreasonable demands; we are requesting that the marts should take mandatory days off and increase credit card commission rates so we could win-win. The boycott will continue until our demand is accepted,” said Oh.
Lotte Group said that it is an unfortunate situation but the problem is not something a single company can solve.
“We received the mail but their demands were not something that could have been taken care of by us. It should be taken care of by credit card associations or at the industry level,” said a PR official at Lotte Group.
“We only found out about the boycott this morning, and we have not come up with any specific counter plans,” said the Lotte Group official on Monday.
The self-employed workers going on action will expand the boycott to other Lotte companies such as Lotte Department Store, Lotte Mart, Lotte Super and Lotteria and also other large marts like Homeplus and E-Mart by getting together with their family members and other civil organizations, which is expected to be about 6 million.