Purpose - This research is to examine how different Korean retailers are from Japanese ones, in terms of taking a social responsibility for product scandals. Through a comparative analysis, the authors will provide some implications for retailers in Korea. Research design, data, and methodology - Based on the existing literature studied how retailers as well as manufacturers responded to food poisoning and product scandals, the authors compared Korea with Japan, in terms of taking a social responsibility. Results - As soon as food safety scandals occurred in Japan, a local government quickly ordered Snow Brand to recall and stop producing problematic milk products. In addition, retailers have stopped displaying them on their store shelves to minimize the number of victims. By stopping selling them, Japanese retailers took a social responsibility for product scandals. Conclusions - The authors found that retailers play a very important role in protecting customer rights. Moreover, customers have become more and more aware of the roles of retailers taking a social responsibility for social issues. The research proposes that a government has to develop the laws to protect customers from food poisoning and product safety issues effectively and that boycott campaigns should be legally protected by a government and promoted by customers.


Social Responsibility, Retailer, Korea, Japan, Comparative Study.