Son’s freezer photo stunt ends Lawson franchise


A 21-year-old part-time worker at a Lawson convenience store in Kamobe, Kochi Prefecture, uploaded pictures of himself inside an ice cream freezer to Facebook, prompting Lawson headquarters to cancel its contract with the franchise after receiving complaints, company officials said.

The store, which was closed down on Monday, will reopen as soon as a new owner is found, according to Lawson.

“As (a company) that handles food products, it is unacceptable and we are reflecting on the incident,” a Lawson official said.

On June 17, his day off, the worker, reportedly the son of the franchise owner, allegedly removed the freezer cover and climbed inside, the official said.

The man apparently asked a friend to take pictures, which were uploaded the next day.

All the products in the freezer, which measures 1.8 meters by 0.8 meter and is 1 meter tall, were replaced soon after the worker’s act came to light, the Lawson official said.

The store, which was covered with a blue sheet, attracted many visitors Monday afternoon after the news broke on the Internet.

“If it weren’t for the Internet, this incident wouldn’t have become such a big deal,” said a 50-year-old woman from Kochi.

The store opened in August 2004.

  • corpo21

    That’s not enough. The father should be made publicly apologise too.

    • Starviking

      Why? His son was the perpetrator.
      To be honest, Lawson’s reaction is over the top. A son does something stupid, and Lawson closes down the family’s source of income immediately over it. Lawson’s need to manage its reputation seems to take precedence over a family’s need to survive.

    • 151E

      An apology would be fitting, but it is grossly unfair that the franchise contract was cancelled because of the stupid actions of one rogue employee (who also happens to be the owner’s son). If there were repeated health violations, that would be one thing, but to lose their livelihood because of a single incident involving one foolish young employee is reeks of collective punishment. I would think the former franchisee could bring a suit against Lawson for wrongful termination of the franchise contract.