The Southern Metropolis Daily reported yesterday that the Japanese convenience store chain Family Mart has been receiving massive social media attention after news broke that they were selling expired products at 21 stores at cities across China.
On January 8th, a video was released on social media, showing the convenience store sold expired food. In the video they showed 10 cities including Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Dongguan. The reporter states they found that this has happened in at least 21 stores.
In the video, the Bluberry Test staff state they decided to check for expired food sales at Family Mart after a sandwich purchased by their staff was found to be out of date when they finished eating. According to the recording in the video, when the staff member negotiated with the store, the clerk first proposed to replace the product and lose 2 cups of coffee.
The testers randomly sampled the Beijing family convenience store and in just 2 weeks, they said they found that six stores were selling expired foods, namely at Wangfujing, Shaoyaoju, Xiagongfu, and Kaiyang Road, Nanfaxin, Xinyuan South Road.
The article states that subsequently, the agency conducted a random sample evaluation of 10 cities across the country within one month; including Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Wuxi, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Dongguan, Chengdu and others. They found that there were cases of expired food sales, problems such as the temporary food not being removed, and date of tampering.
Among the three cities in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Dongguan in Guangdong Province, the Guangzhou Jianshe Xindacheng Square Store, Guangzhou East Railway Station, Shenzhen Hongling Building, Shenzhen University Store and Dongguan Nanfeng Center were named by the evaluation agency.
Family Mart Response
When asked for comment by the reporter, Family Mart responded by saying that the survey video failed to “reflect the facts.” In the statement released by “Shanghai Fumanjia Co., Ltd.” (Family Mart Company in China), they state that “the store will never allow the store to sell expired food”, and said that it has internally checked the store that sells expired food. “There are no expired foods.”
In addition, they also said that the store surveillance video repeatedly showed abnormal purchase processes of the evaluation agency personnel, and that “the content of the article cannot fully reflect the truth,” and they will protect the legitimate rights and interests through “legal means.”
Not the first time:
The Southern Metropolis Daily reporter found two cases where Family Mart was ordered to pay restitution to victims. In the first, Shanghai Fumanjia Co., Ltd. had a lawsuit filed against them in 2016, by Zhang Mou, a Shanghai citizen, who claimed she purchased two bottles of expired flavored fermented milk. On March 1, 2017, Shanghai Changning District People’s Court ruled that Shanghai Fumanjia Co., Ltd. had to pay her 1000 yuan. In the second, consumer Lu Mou in purchased a suspected fake and shoddy syrup back in October 2015 at the Family Mart Zhongtai Plaza convenience store. The Guangzhou company went to court, and the Tianhe District People’s Court of Guangzhou required the store to refund the purchase price and pay 1,000 yuan.
According to the article, Family Mart is a Japanese convenience store with service outlets covering China, Japan, Thailand and the United States. Among them, Zhu Hongtao, the chairman of the convenience store in China, has 173 convenience store affiliates (mainly branches).