KK Mart sues socks supplier for at least RM38m over brand damage, aborted listing on stock market

KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — Convenience store chain KK Supermart & Superstore Sdn Bhd today filed a lawsuit against the local company which supplied it socks — including the socks which attracted controversy over its “Allah” wording.

When contacted, KK Supermart’s lawyer Datuk David Gurupatham confirmed to Malay Mail that his client had filed the civil lawsuit at the High Court in Shah Alam today.

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In the civil lawsuit filed against the socks’ supplier Xin Jian Chang Sdn Bhd and its director Soh Chin Huat, KK Supermart sought a court declaration that the supplier had unlawfully interfered with its business, and for court orders for Xin Jian Chang and its director to indemnify it for the losses and to prevent further causing of losses by unlawful interference to business.

In the same lawsuit, KK Supermart also wanted the court to assess the actual loss for its loss of profits from its average business income of RM1.5 million a week.

KK Supermart is also claiming RM10.5 million for the damage caused to its brand name and goodwill in the market, and RM20.3 million caused by the aborted proposed listing on the stock exchange — or initial public offering (IPO) — of its business, as well as aggravated damages to be assessed by the court, and punitive and exemplary damages.

Previously on March 19, Xin Jian Chang apologised for any offence or distress caused by the regrettable incident of socks bearing the word “Allah”, saying it had never intentionally ordered any socks with such words and that it had consistently advised its Chinese suppliers to avoid providing products bearing words, symbols, or illustrations that could offend the Muslim community.

Xin Jian Chang had on March 19 also said its China-based supplier Mu Mian Qing Hosiery Co Ltd had admitted that the five pairs of “problematic socks” were mistakenly included in an 18,800-pair order, and that it is currently seeking legal advice for possible legal action against the China-based supplier over the latter’s negligence in fulfilling the order requirements.

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