Baby products firm comes under scanner for switching labels

By Minh Son, Anh Minh   July 23, 2018 | 05:47 pm PT
Con Cung has been investigated after a customer claimed the largest seller of children’s products sold him a shirt with a dodgy label.
Con Cung products showed signs of infringement, accrording to Vietnams Market Surveillance Agency. Photo by VnExpress/Phuong Dong

Con Cung was investigated by the Market Surveillance Agency after a customer alleged it had sold him a shirt with labels changed. Photo by VnExpress/Phuong Dong

The customer said a shirt he bought at a Con Cung store seemed to have had its label changed. The label said “made in Thailand” but looked like it had been swapped with another label, the unidentified man was quoted as saying.

Con Cung, which has received funding from the Vietnamese-Japanese DAIWA-SSIAM Vietnam Growth Fund, has 318 stores nationwide comprising 288 Con Cung and 30 ToyCity stores. 

Officials found the label had very small letters which faded away easily when rubbed.

They said another label too, on a massage cream product, had been replaced with the label of a different manufacturer.

“There were signs of infringement,” Tran Hung, deputy head of the Market Surveillance Agency, which conducted the checks, said, adding he would soon report to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

But Con Cung claimed the shirt had been imported from Thailand, where it was manufactured by a company called International Incorporated.

It said it got the Thai company to manufacture the shirt for the Con Cung Fashion label, and the product origin was certified by the Thai Ministry of Commerce, Luu Anh Tien, CEO of Con Cung, said.

The ministry certification clearly says “these products were manufactured in Thailand using 100 percent material originating in Thailand and other ASEAN countries,” Tien said in a statement.

Con Cung said after receiving the complaint it had performed a check on all the shirts in the batch and found that the products “did not meet the required standard” to be sold at its stores.

It said it had taken the shirt off the shelves and offered a coupon for the value of the shirt to almost 4,000 customers who had bought it.

Tien said: “Con Cung did not thoroughly check the quality of the imports. We apologize for this mistake and will not repeat it.”

Founded in 2011 the chain operates mostly in Ho Chi Minh City and southern provinces. It plans to have more than 1,000 stores by 2020.

Its pre-tax profits in 2016 had been VND8 billion ($350,000) on revenues of VND524 billion ($22.9 million), according to the Vietnam Industry Research and Consultancy.

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