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December 9, 2013

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Marie France closes 9 outlets, customers left empty-handed

All nine Marie France Bodyline branches in Shanghai have either shut down or stopped providing services recently, leaving customers and employees in the lurch.

The skin care and weight loss company is owned by Hong Kong-based Global Beauty International Limited, which said on its website that it had sold its Chinese mainland business in the summer.

It said the company will continue its business in Hong Kong, Macau and Southeast Asia, but didn’t mention anything about its mainland customers.

The company’s service hotline for East China could not be reached yesterday, while its website was no longer working as of last night.

Xuhui District industrial and commercial authorities said yesterday that an investigation into the matter will start today.

According to an employee with one of the company’s Shanghai branches, senior managers, including the chief financial officer of the Shanghai headquarters on Zhaojiabang Road, did not go to work last week.

Some employees who were still owed their salaries said they were planning to take legal action.

One employee told Xinmin Evening News the boss had gone overseas and the main office in Shanghai had been emptied.

The branch in the Westgate Mall on Nanjing Road W. was the first to shut down after its rental contract expired in October. Branches at Wujiaochang, Grand Gateway and Daning Life Hub also suspended services in October as they were late with rent and electricity payments.

The closed branches did not give any advance notice. Some customers had more than 10,000 yuan (US$1,644) remaining on their prepaid membership cards and didn’t know if they would be refunded.

Marie France opened its first center in Hong Kong in 1986, providing weight loss and slimming programs. It has more than 150 branches in Asia, 50 of which were on the Chinese mainland.



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