The offices of the L’Oréal Group and several stores under the brand closed on Wednesday ahead of a protest planned against its subsidiary Lancôme. The cosmetic giant’s decision to cancel a concert featuring pro-democracy star Denise Ho Wan-see on Sunday sparked controversy among netizens and customers.
The League of Social Democrats and several other political parties were set to protest at a Lancôme booth at Lane Crawford in Causeway Bay at 1pm Wednesday. The Times Square store did not open on Wednesday.
Lancôme stores in other places were also closed, including one in Cityplaza, Tai Koo Shing and another in Telford Plaza, Kowloon Bay.
Stores had notices on the door stating: “Please note Lancôme boutique will be closed on 8th June. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.”
Some other brands under the L’Oréal Group in Causeway Bay were also closed.
— Joanne Wong (@JOceanW) June 8, 2016
Several hundred staff members at the offices of L’Oréal Group were notified that they were not required to go to work on Wednesday, reported Apple Daily.
The office was closed on Wednesday morning as HK01 reporters arrived at the door.
The French cosmetics giant cancelled the concert after Chinese state mouthpiece Global Times linked Ho with Hong Kong and Tibetan independence movements.
Citing possible safety concerns, Denise Ho was dropped as a performer, sparking anger and boycott threats from the Hong Kong public. The newspaper published an editorial on Tuesday supporting Lancôme’s decision.
Pro-Beijing newspaper Ta Kung Pao published two commentaries criticising Ho on Wednesday.
But Ho, speaking to the BBC on Tuesday night, said Lancôme should stand firm on its core values and moral standards as an international brand and should not bend under pressure. She also said in an earlier statement that Lancôme seriously misled the public and jeopardised her personal reputation.