Japanese department store chain apologises for hundreds of smashed Christmas cakes

Posh department store left red faced as Japanese citizens complain of damaged cake on social media

Alisha Rahaman Sarkar
Thursday 28 December 2023 08:42

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A Japanese luxury department store has issued an apology after hundreds of customers complained of smashed cakes delivered to them for Christmas celebrations.

Takashimaya faced backlash after customers said the ¥5,400 (£30) strawberry cakes, meant to be delivered frozen, arrived smashed into the box, lopsided or crumbled.

The department store chain sold 2,879 pre-ordered cakes, out of which 1,207 livid customers complained about the condition of the cake, Japan Times reported.

Over 800 cakes were confirmed to be damaged.

The "cake collapse" has been one of the most talked about issues on Japanese social media, with people sharing images of the mangled cakes received during the festive season.

"I ordered a Christmas cake online for the first time, but when it arrived, it was completely messed up," a user wrote on social media X, formerly known as Twitter.

"I thought I could trust Takashimaya, but is this something that often happens with a cake delivery? I don't understand."

“Takashimaya’s cake was delivered to me like this. I’m sad,” wrote another user.

The strawberry shortcake with layers of chiffon and fresh strawberries and white icing is sought after during Christmas in Japan.

Takashimaya on Wednesday apologised, saying that it would be impossible to identify the exact reason behind the damage.

"Christmas cake is something that people enjoy with family and friends on a special occasion that only comes once a year,” said Kazuhisa Yokoyama, the head of sales at Takashimaya.

“We are incredibly sorry that we were unable to create an atmosphere where everyone could enjoy [the cake] together and that we disappointed many.”

“Given this incident, going forward, we will be more thorough in our discussions with various companies in our supply chain and enforce a system where we check to make sure that the products are being managed appropriately,” Mr Yokoyama added.

The company said customers may be reimbursed for the cakes.

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