The Financial Consumer Agency (FCA), a public consumer organization, announced on Aug. 13 that it has banded together with Small Business Association of Korea (SBAK) to indefinitely boycott the Lotte Group’s products.
The FCA and KSBA jointly released a statement saying, “By more actively carrying out a boycott campaign against Lotte Group, we will establish a fair market economy and improve the damages against small businesses and mom-and-pop storeowners caused by the high-handedness of big corporations. We are also planning to hold a joint rally next week.”
Previously, the FCA has declared a boycott of all products and services from the Lotte Group and its affiliates on Aug. 4, when the family feud broke out to win control over the group.
The KSBA has also launched a boycott of Lotte Mart’s products on Aug. 10, as well as terminating its affiliation with and refusing to accept Lotte Cards.
Although Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin apologized over the ongoing family feud on Aug. 11, it was disappointing that there was no substance,” an FCA representative pointed out.
The representative also said, “In the public apology, Chairman Shin said that Lotte is wholly a Korean company. However, he did not mention any specific measures, time, or future business strategy to regain the trust of domestic customers. So, it was disappointing.”
It seems that Lotte has lower brand image than any other domestic group, and it is no exaggeration to say that it has shown an imperial management style. Surely, all domestic chaebols are not much different from Lotte. However, that doesn’t mean that it is too much to criticize Lotte now. Rather than saying it is harsh only on Lotte, we should work together to make other chaebols receive criticism and ask them to change through Lotte’s reform.
The FCA stressed, “The government needs to conduct a full-scale investigation over Lotte’s business favors through the unhealthy links between business and politics, and illegal acts, including capital transfers between Korea and Japan, in order to clear suspicions. Also, it should closely examine and carefully decide upon the reapproval of Lotte Duty Free.”
Meanwhile, the FCA is currently carrying out an online signature-collecting campaign of people who will participate in the boycott of Lotte Group’s products on its official website.