Chinese toy manufacturer Pop Mart has admitted to selling repackaged items at one of their outlets in Shandong, east China, following a customer complaint.
The customer purchased three of Pop Mart’s signature mystery “blind boxes” at an outlet in Jinan city and suspected the box has been opened after finding traces of glue on the packaging, according to Chinese reports. A collectible card in one of the boxes had also been folded in half.
After filing a complaint, the customer said she received a reply from Pop Mart confirming that five employees at the Jinan MIXC Square outlet opened 11 of the mystery boxes on Dec 14 and removed some of the items. The employees then resealed the packaging with glue and sold them to unsuspecting customers.
Following the investigation, the company said it fired the five employees on Monday and offered an exchange to the customer, adding that checks will be conducted at outlets across the country, according to The Beijing News.
Calls to Pop Mart’s Beijing offices went unanswered. Pandaily has reached out to the company via email.
However, this is not the first time Pop Mart is accused of selling repackaged goods.
Users on Twitter-like Weibo said they also shared similar experiences where some of the Pop Mart mystery boxes they bought had been opened. Others complained about poor customer service at some of the outlets.
Founded in 2010, Pop Mart International Group is the largest and fastest-growing pop-toy marker in China, making a stellar debut on the Hong Kong stock market on Dec. 11.
The Beijing-based firm closed nearly 80% higher than its issue price, ending the day with a market capitalization of $12.5 billion.
Sales are soaring in China, where its mystery blind boxes — containing a figurine from different collections — continue to intrigue and attract young adults thrilled not to know which doll they have bought until they open the box.
Pop Mart has 136 mainland China stores and 1,001 vending machines. The company plans to use some of its IPO proceeds to open another 183 new retail shops and 1,800 more mobile outlets over the next two years.