Kitson wants candy-gate investigated at LAX

L.A.-based boutique Kitson says Hudson Group overcharged and sold old candy

Travelers flying in and out of Los Angeles International Airport should stay clear of the chocolates sold at the airport’s two Kitson shops.

That warning comes from Kitson itself. The L.A.-based boutique that sells novelty souvenirs is in a dispute with Hudson Group, the New Jersey-based company that operates dozens of airport stores, including the Kitson stores at LAX.

Kitson is trying to get out of the licensing contract that lets Hudson sell its merchandise at the airport, claiming that Hudson has overpriced some items and put new wrappers on expired See’s candy so it can be sold with new expiration dates.

A Hudson representative disputed the charges of selling expired candy and said the prices of three items that were slightly overpriced have been lowered.

Kitson spokeswoman Courtney Saavedra said Hudson’s actions are ruining Kitson’s reputation.

“We’ve worked for 15 years to develop a brand of which we are very, very proud, and we represent Los Angeles,” she said.

Saavedra said Kitson has tried to talk about the problem with airport officials and Mayor Eric Garcetti, to no avail. To spur some response, Kitson posted a sign on its Robertson Boulevard store, saying: “Does Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles, condone corruption and collusion at LAX?”

Garcetti’s office said the mayor is not getting in the middle of the dispute.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.

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