(Source: Inside Retail Asia | May 14, 2018)
Fashion and lifestyle goods retailer Mumuso Vietnam has been accused of selling Chinese goods as Korean products.
The allegation surfaced on South Korean SBS News, which reported that the Shanghai-based company has been duping customers into thinking it is a South Korean store chain selling South Korean goods. The news channel also said Mumuso’s registered office in Seoul could not be found.
Legal representatives of Mumuso Vietnam say the company registered its brand under the protection of the Korean Intellectual Property Office without any production activities there. It also has a branch in Shanghai, redesignated as its headquarters.
Mumuso authorised its Shanghai office to take over its business activities, including production and brand management.
Mumuso’s business in Vietnam is under a franchise contract.
“Mumuso wants to strengthen its brand overseas before returning home, where competition is fierce,” says Mumuso Vietnam director Nham Phi Khanh.
He admits that no Mumuso merchandise has undergone quality inspections in Korea, but is imported directly from China. “Our products meet standards and regulations set by the Drug Administration of Vietnam and the Department for Food Safety and Hygiene under the Ministry of Health.”
Mumuso Vietnam has 27 outlets, mostly in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The stores sell a wide range of goods, from cosmetics to household items, all labeled as “Mumuso – Korea”, with product information mainly written in Korean and Chinese, and prices ranging from VND22,000 (US$1). All come with a “Made in China” tag.
The Mumuso retail concept is loosely based on that of another Chinese company Miniso, which has drawn criticism for marketing its products as Japanese.
Meanwhile, Mumuso Vietnam has announced it intends to increase the number of its outlets in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi to 80.
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