Oh no, not Nature Republic too?
Last month, popular South Korean bakery/cafe franchise announced that their Malaysian outlets – Bangsar, Empire Damansara, WOLO Bukit Bintang, and Subang’s Empire Shopping Gallery – were closing with immediate effect. No explanations were offered, and until today, fans are unable to figure out why. Now, it seems like another popular South Korean brand is also on its way out.
Nature Republic (네이처리퍼블릭) Malaysia took to their Facebook page to announce that they’re closing. The brand uploaded a new cover photo that has an angry, red “CLOSED” stamped across an image of their brand ambassador, K-Pop idol boy group EXO.
In the comments, Nature Republic wrote, “Less than 1 year ago, the Taiwan Nature Republic which is directly owned by NR Korea closed in whole Taiwan. Now Nature Republic Malaysia one of the oldest NR Korea Distributor since 2009 closed also. Now it is up to the public to judge the root problem.”
Nature Republic then left a link to a news article which states that its founder and former chief executive Jung Woon-ho was embroiled in an illegal gambling scandal and a string of violence and lobbying charges, effectively tarnishing the company’s reputation/name.
The article also went on to say that ever since Jung Woon-ho was imprisoned for embezzlement and breach of trust for gambling overseas in October 2015, Nature Republic has suffered from deteriorating earnings, recording 1.8 billion won in operating loss in the first half of 2016.
A quick check shows that their Malaysian website is no longer functional, as it leads to the below landing page:
Nature Republic, famed for their star product, the 92% Aloe Vera Gel, and A-list K-Pop/K-Drama endorsements such as Rain, JYJ, EXO, SNSD Girls’ Generation’s Taeyeon, Shin Se Kyung, and Jang Geun Seuk was established in South Korea in 2009.
Globally, Nature Republic has stores in Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, and the US. In Malaysia alone, the company has a total of 11 outlets: 6 in West Malaysia and 5 in East Malaysia.
The brand has always prided itself in being one that “utilises natural ingredients for their products”.