KFC Malaysia temporarily closes stores during Gaza boycott | Business and Economy

Franchise operators cited “difficult economic conditions” as the reason, amid local reports linking the closures to an Israeli boycott.

KFC Malaysia has temporarily closed some stores in the country amid growing calls for a boycott of the chain over Israel’s war in Gaza.

KFC is one of a number of Western brands being boycotted in Malaysia, where more than 60 percent of the population is Muslim, due to its ties to Israel.

QSR Brands Holdings, which operates KFC and Pizza Hut restaurants in Japan, has temporarily closed its stores to “manage rising business costs and focus on high-engagement trade areas” amid “challenging economic conditions.” said.

“Contributing positively to the Malaysian community, maintaining the brand love for KFC, and protecting the brand’s employees are all priorities for the organization. “As part of the company’s re-optimization efforts, I was offered the opportunity to move to a busier operating store,” the company said in a statement Monday.

“As a company that has been serving Malaysians for over 50 years, we remain focused on providing quality products and services to our customers, while also contributing to the Malaysian economy by securing jobs for 18,000 Malaysian team members. They are actively contributing, and about 85 percent of them are Malaysians.” Muslims. ”

QSR Brands did not disclose the reason for the difficult situation.

Local media linked the closures to the boycott and cited Google Maps data showing dozens of stores nationwide were affected.

Boycotts in Muslim-majority countries have been blamed for sluggish profits for Western brands said to have ties to Israel.

In February, McDonald’s announced that its sales in the fourth quarter of 2023 rose only 0.7%, compared with 16.5% in the same period last year, due to boycotts in the Middle East, Indonesia and Malaysia.

In the same month, Unilever, which makes Dove soap, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and Knorr Stock Cubes, reported a double-digit sales decline in the fourth quarter in Indonesia as a result of a “geopolitically focused consumer campaign.” announced that he had experienced

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