Korea’s boycott of Paris Baguette and parent company SPC is already yielding results.
Previously we reported on the backlash Paris Baguette and its parent company, SPC, received after an employee died while working at the bakery’s factory. According to news reports, the employee died after she was caught in a machine and wasn’t found until the morning after.
Netizens were outraged when it was later reported that employees at the factory were instructed to go back to work after finding the body of their deceased coworker. According to news reports, the employees, despite the traumatic incident, worked nearby the tragic incident just hours after it occurred.
To quell the nation’s rebuke of the company, SPC’s CEO, Huh Young In, apologized publically to Korean citizens, stating that he would take full responsibility for the incident.
I take full responsibility for this accident and deserve criticism from the public. I would like to apologize to the factory workers who worked near the victim. The company should have understood their trauma and sadness and should have been more considerate.
— Huh Young In
Despite the apology, Koreans vowed to boycott Paris Baguette and its parent company, SPC’s affiliate brands. SPC is home to some of Korea’s most well-known domestic restaurant franchises and are rights holders of some of the world’s most-recognized international brands such as Baskin Robbins and Shake Shack.
According to news reports, the boycott is already yielding results. One Paris Baguette employee alleged that some SPC stores saw up to a 30% drop in business since the boycott.
It is true that sales have decreased. In places where it has been particularly affected, I have heard sales have dropped 30%.
— Paris Baguette employee
Another employee cautioned that although the drop isn’t a cause for alarm, yet, time will tell the full impact of the boycott.
I can feel a drop in sales compared to last week. There hasn’t been a drop so severe that we are facing hardships, but I think only time will tell.
— Paris Baguette employees
Netizens also shared anecdotes of seeing empty Paris Baguette stores. According to one viral account, a Paris Baguette store had lost 75% of its customers.
I visited a friend who works at Paris Baguette, and according to them, they don’t have much to do since the store has lost 75% of its customers. According to my friend, there are some who come in to buy cakes, but there is almost no one that comes in to buy bread. Supposedly, the store usually sells out their bread by the end of the night, but now the amount of bread they through out has multiplied by five times.
- “Morally speaking, just think about blood-soaked bread, and you won’t ever go there.”
- “Just now, my mom offered to eat bread for lunch, but due to there only being Paris Baguettes near my home, I just ate walnut cookies.”
- “Boycotts are long-term battles. Let’s keep it going until the end of the year. I know this year’s holiday season is going to be difficult, but let’s give it a shot.”
- “After work, I usually go to Tous Le Jours (competitor), but these days they are out of bread. Usually, they have plenty of bread, but ever since the boycott, they’ve had a lot more customers.”
- “My neighborhood’s Paris Baguette is still doing alright. I took a look to see how they were doing, and they didn’t seem to have any bread left.”
- “I’ve barely seen any customers in the Paris Baguette stores around me.”
- “Guys, let’s gather strength. This is a long-term battle, and I really hope we are successful.”
- “Guys, just hold on. Let’s not go there during the holiday season.”