A spokesperson from Aji Ichiban has confirmed that the brand’s last day of operations was 6 June 2022.
This article was first reported by Marketing Interactive.
Hong Kong snack food franchise Aji Ichiban has shut down due to the rapid fall in sales under the pandemic. In a conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, a spokesperson from Aji Ichiban has confirmed that the brand’s last day of operations was 6 June 2022.
“Ever since the pandemic kicked in, our business has dropped due to closed borders between Mainland China and Hong Kong. The competition has been intense under the pandemic, and we only had four branches left in Hong Kong from May.”
The spokesperson added that most of the employees were prepared for the shuttering of the store, and have been very understanding to the company. “Everyone is so reluctant to leave, but we know that it is unavoidable, since the rent is due soon, we cannot afford any further costs," said the spokesperson.
Situated in HK for nearly 30 years, the brand has been a popular go-to snack store. Unfortunately, the company's sudden closure and lack of public statement on social platforms has left many netizens upset. According to Meltwater, there has been a total mention of 1.54k of the incident, mostly from Hong Kong and Japan. The report also showed that there is an overwhelming 31% negative sentiments, with both sadness and anger regarding the incident, and 48% are neutral sentiments. The analysis said that surprisingly many comments also came in from Japanese Twitter accounts.
Commenting on the social media outpour of sadness, the spokesperson added: “We didn’t expect to be a brand so loved by everyone. We were well prepared for this outcome, but we certainly did not foresee the huge impacts of the brand’s closure. We remain open to the possibility of relaunching our stores once the border is open”
Recently, empty shelves, inactive website and phone numbers sparked rumors of the brand's closure. Several netizens posted on social media saying that the shelves in the Aji Ichiban store were empty, while the Tsuen Wan Market Street branch was seen with closed gates at around 8pm on 6 June 2022.
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