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Popeyes may cease operation in South Korea

American fast-food chain Popeyes said it is to withdraw business from South Korea, however the local franchisee TS Corporation has denied the report.

According to The Korea Times, reports of the exit began when a memo written by a Popeyes’ employee headed “Popeyes brand will no longer pursue business in Korea as of November” went viral on social media. The employee’s memo went into detail, to the point of stating that the chain’s Gwangjin-gu branch would be the last to close before the brand ceases its operations in South Korea.

A spokesperson from TS Corporation confirmed to The Korea Times that some of the restaurants will shut down – but not all of them. The person didn’t share any further information except to state that the company will continue to operate the brand there.

The struggling fast-food chain has been attempting to turn its fortunes around for two years, however, the process has not gone smoothly.

Having entered South Korea with TS Food & System in 1993, the company recorded an impaired equity ratio of 40 per cent and last year it was in negative equity.

Local media said Popeyes has recently been in negotiations with another operator to increase the brand’s value. That company is believed to be SPC Group, which operates Shake Shack and Eggslut in the country, but that has not been confirmed.

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