[THE INVESTOR] Ediya Coffee announced on May 3 that it has terminated its franchise agreement with disgraced Korean Air sisters Cho Hyun-ah and Cho Hyun-min who were sacked from their family-owned conglomerate after a public backlash following their temper tantrums.
“Our brand image has been seriously damaged by the misbehavior of Hanjin Group’s owner family,” Ediya CEO Moon Chang-gi said in a statement.
Korean Air sisters Cho Hyun-ah(left) and Cho Hyun-min
The two Cho sisters have reportedly agreed to shut down their stores by June 30.
The decision follows public anger at the family for repeatedly mistreating subordinates. Four years ago, the elder sister Hyun-ah (also known as Heather) who was vice president at Korean Air, made global headlines for the “nut rage” incident -- she kicked a cabin crewmember off a plane after being served macadamia nuts in a bag rather than a bowl. More recently, Hyun-min (also known as Emily), who was a marketing executive at the airlines, was accused of assault for throwing water at an ad agency employee’s face during a business meeting.
When it was revealed that the two are operating Ediya outlets -- located at Hanjin Building in Seoul and Inha University Hospital in Incheon -- there was a public outcry and rumors spread that Hanjin Group holds substantial stake in the coffee franchise.
Moon has denied any ulterior connection and emphasized that the group does not have any stake in his firm. He and standing advisor Kim Sun-woo currently own 67 percent and 25 percent stake, respectively, while the remaining shares are owned by another unnamed investor.
“We will take action against those spreading baseless rumors,” Moon said.
Ediya currently has more than 2,000 outlets here and only 10 of them are directly managed by the headquarters.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org