South Korean health-and-beauty stores have suspended sales of products from Japanese beauty firm DHC Corp, after the company made offensive remarks about Koreans.
The products are being withdrawn from shelves of retailers in yet another chapter of a growing diplomatic row between the two countries.
Since entering South Korea in 2002, DHC has gained popularity with cleansing oils and other products, and has entered local H&B stores and online malls.
However, DHC has been embroiled in controversy after saying on its television network subsidiary that “South Korea is a hot-tempered country, and the boycott will not last long”’, and using the word ‘Joseonjing’, a disparaging expression for Korean people, saying that South Koreans were not able to text Chinese characters.
Olive Young, a leading health-and-beauty chain, said it stopped selling DHC Corp products at its online store on Monday morning.
Olive Young also ordered its 1200 brick-and-mortar branches to move the display locations of DHC products, following guidelines to minimize consumer exposure to the Japanese company’s wares.
As DHC’s subsidiary, “DHC Television,” was found to have aired YouTube content with hateful comments on South Korea, the move is attributed to worsening public sentiment, including a boycott among Korean consumers.
“Because of realistic problems such as contract relations with partners, we are first giving guidelines such as changing the location of displays in the store and temporarily suspending sales at online malls and reviewing various measures,” an official at Olive Young said.
Lalavla, South Korea’s second-largest health-and-beauty chain, operated by GS Retail Co, has also decided to stop selling some 20 DHC products at online malls and 150 offline stores.
The location of the remaining stock will be relocated to a less visible location.
LOHB’s, run by retail giant Lotte Group, also suspended sales of DHC products at its online mall on Monday and stopped stocking DHC products at about 130 offline stores nationwide.
- Original reporting by D M Park of Korea Bizwire.