Impact of boycotts on local businesses

by Rahim Said

Passing by a Kentucky Fried Chicken or KFC outlet recently, the sight of deserted premises sparked thoughts on the broader implications of boycotts linked to practices connected to Israel and Zionists.

In Malaysia, where the franchise is held by the State Economic Development Corporation of Johor (JCorp), hundreds of once-popular KFC outlets, are now struggling due to a boycott in sympathy for Gaza.

The boycott stems from allegations that a similar franchisor in Israel supported Israeli forces by supplying food to soldiers heading to Gaza.

In response, large segments of Malaysians decided to boycott all outlets linked directly or indirectly to Israel. As a result, these outlets, once thriving billion-ringgit businesses, are now struggling to attract customers.

One particular KFC outlet highlighted its ownership by JCorp through a banner, indirectly pointing out that the boycott is affecting the livelihoods of locals employed by the franchise nationwide.

This situation raises important questions about the effectiveness and unintended consequences of such boycotts on local economies.

While boycotts can be powerful tools for expressing solidarity and advocating for change, they can also have unintended consequences.

In this case, the boycott of KFC is not only impacting the franchise but also local employees who rely on these jobs for their livelihoods.

It begs the question: Is the boycott achieving its intended goals, or is it causing more harm than good?

It is crucial for activists and consumers to consider the broader implications of their actions. Instead of blanket boycotts, targeted approaches that focus on specific issues or companies may be more effective in achieving meaningful change.

Additionally, efforts should be made to support local businesses and workers affected by these boycotts, ensuring that they are not unfairly penalised for actions beyond their control.

In conclusion, while boycotts can be powerful tools for advocating change, they should be carefully considered to avoid unintended consequences.

It is essential to strike a balance between expressing solidarity and supporting local economies, ensuring that the voices of the marginalised are heard without causing harm to those who depend on these businesses for their livelihoods.

Dr. Rahim Said is a human behaviourist and regular contributor on digital media platforms. He is a professional management consultant, a corporate trainer and an executive coach specialising in coaching of senior executives and individual entrepreneurs with the purpose of modifying their behaviour in the pursuit of their cherished missions. (The views expressed by our columnist are entirely his own)