PX Mart in hot water after boss slams ‘spendthrift’ youth

By Kuan-lin Liu, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — TAIPEI, Taiwan — Supermarket chain PX Mart is under attack after its president, Hsu Chung-jen (徐重仁), called young people spendthrift during a press conference promoting his book on Tuesday.

At an event promoting a book on his work philosophy and life goals, Hsu mentioned PX Mart’s Facebook-based strategy for targeting younger customers. As he continued to speak on the matter of young people, he reportedly remarked that young people should “tolerate rather than complain about low pay” and accused them of “spending too much money.”

“Young people should not fuss over having lower salaries than other people. Withstand rather than complain; work diligently and your boss will see you one day,” Hsu said.

“Nowadays, young people are really spendthrift. If you take a look at the international airport, there are a lot of young people traveling abroad, but not as many older people.” Online Backlash After reports of the press conference broke, Facebook users flooded PX Mart’s official fan page with irate messages. Under PX Mart’s latest post promoting its products, one wrote, “The boss said don’t spend money. Why are you still buying!?”

Others took to the local web forum PTT with their complaints, saying Hsu’s comments were ironic because“bosses will say employees have no international perspective if they don’t travel abroad” and “businesses will have no revenue if people don’t spend money.” Some went as far as to say they would boycott the supermarket chain. ‘Didn’t mean it’ A spokesperson for PX Mart responded to the incident, saying that people had misinterpreted Hsu’s comments. “What the president meant was to encourage young people to not only look at the short term, that as long as you work hard, you will receive due compensation,” the spokesperson said. PX Mart’s Facebook manager also attempted damage control, primarily by deleting some of the angriest messages left by followers of the fan page.

The Central News Agency reported that this action upset netizens even more, prompting people to ask whether the Facebook manager would receive a raise for diligently deleting critical messages.

One person even compared PX Mart’s public relations team to those of Pepsi and United Airlines, which have recently been involved in high-profile incidents that dented their corporate image. Radio Silence Amid the public relations storm, PX Mart’s Facebook page has remained silent, with no new posts since the product promotion update that was hit by angry comments after the press conference. In the past, PX Mart’s Facebook presence has had mostly positive media coverage for its fun, approachable posts and good customer relations. In fact, Hsu had been referring to the Facebook page’s success when describing his company’s strategy for younger customers.