Global Business Development

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 64, Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Edited and curated by: William (Bill) Edwards, CFE, CEO of Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS)

A new Prime Minister for the UK. A timely quote from Albert Einstein. There are up to 8,755 commercial flights in the air at any given time of day. Indonesia is a pleasant surprise among emerging markets. Japan turns back to nuclear power. Energy prices continue to rise to rise. And a must read 2022 Member survey from the U.S. China Business Council to know what is happening in China.

To receive this biweekly newsletter that is read by 1,450 people in 20 countries, click here : https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

“The world as we have created it isa process of our thin king. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”, Albert Einstein

“The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.”, Steve Jobs.

“There’s no shortage of remarkable ideas, what’s missing is the will to execute them.” – Seth Godin

Highlights in issue #64:

  • Brand Global News Section: Bonchon®, Denny’s®, Dominos®, Hardees®, Marco’s Pizza®, Pret A Manger®, Planet Smoothie® and Red Rooster®

NOTE: Bolded headlines in this newsletter are live links where the article is freely available

Interesting Data and Studies

The Most Searched Consumer Brands in 2022 –  In today’s fast-paced world, a strong brand is a powerful asset that helps a business stand out in a sea of competition. What are some of the most popular brands around the world? One way to gauge this is by looking at Google searches to see what consumers are searching for online (and therefore, what brands they’re paying the most attention to). This graphic by BusinessFinancing.co.uk uses data from Google Keyword Planner to show the world’s most searched consumer brands in the twelve months leading up to March 2022.”, Visual Capitalist / Business/Finance, September 4, 2022

“How Work Has Changed Since COVID-19 – Labor markets everywhere are digging themselves out of a deep hole. The International Labor Organization predicts continued global labor market disruptions for at least the remainder of the year because of the war in Ukraine and China’s domestic economic problems. Predictably, problems are especially pronounced in low- and middle-income countries. When it comes to hours worked, high-income economies are again faring much better than the rest.”, Geopolitical Futures, August 26, 2022

Global Supply Chain, Energy, Commodities, Inflation & Trade Issues

How Rising Food and Energy Prices Impact the Economy – Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the effects of energy supply disruptions are cascading across everything from food prices to electricity to consumer sentiment. In response to soaring prices, many OECD countries are tapping into their strategic petroleum reserves. In fact, since March, the U.S. has sold a record one million barrels of oil per day from these reserves. This, among other factors, has led gasoline prices to fall more recently—yet deficits could follow into 2023, causing prices to increase. With data from the World Bank, the above infographic charts energy shocks over the last half century and what this means for the global economy looking ahead.”, Visual Capitalist / World Bank, September 1, 2022

Global & Regional Travel Updates

Ryanair passenger numbers hit new all-time high in August – Ryanair (RYA.I) in August flew a record number of passengers for the fourth month in a row as it continued to consolidate its position as Europe’s largest airline by passenger numbers. The Irish low-cost carrier, which unlike many airlines made a point of keeping its pilots and crew up-to-date with their flying hours during the pandemic, flew 16.9 million passengers in August compared to a pre-COVID peak of 14.9 million in August 2019.”, Reuters, September 1, 2022

Mapping Airways: The World’s Flight Paths and Airports – There are up to 8,755 commercial flights in the air at any given time of day. These flights transport thousands of people (and millions of dollars worth of goods) around the world.  But where are these people and goods headed? This map from Adam Symington uses historical data from OpenFlights to visualize the world’s flight paths. The graphic shows a comprehensive data set encompassing 67,663 different routes that connect 10,000 different airports across the globe. Visual Capitalist / OpenFlights, September 2, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

Asia

Relief in sight for cheese lovers as Domino’s expands in Asia – Australia’s largest pizza chain, Domino’s Pizza Enterprises, says there are early signs that price pressures for key ingredients such as wheat and cheese are starting to flatten, but the company will still have to lift some product prices to combat inflation. The company also stepped up its expansion in Asia with the acquisition of 287 stores in Malaysia, Singapore and Cambodia in a deal with an upfront price of $214 million, in what is the biggest acquisition in the company’s history. It aims to grow to 600 stores in total across the three countries.”, The Australia Financial Review, August 24, 2022

China

U.S.-China Business Council 2022 Member Survey – The US-China Business Council’s 2022 Member Survey was conducted in June 2022, shortly after a period of widespread COVID-19 lockdowns across China, most prominently in Shanghai. This report is based on responses from 117 member companies, a similar participation rate to past years. Most respondents are large, US-headquartered multinational companies that have operated in China for more than 20 years. China’s COVID-19 policies are the top challenge. Bilateral tensions continue to hurt American companies. Trajectory of commercial relations at another inflection point.”, U.S-China Business Council, August 29, 2022

China Was One of the Best Places for Private Equity. Not Anymore. The number of Investments by U.S. PE and venture-capital firms in that country declined by about 31% in the second quarter this year, while their value plunged 79%, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence. Concerns about the country’s macroeconomic picture spurred the drop, S&P said.”, Barron’s, September 5, 2022

India

India overtakes former colonial ruler UK to become 5th largest world economyAccording to the calculation, based on US dollars, India overtook the U.K. in the final three months of 2021 and extended its lead into the first quarter. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs noted that a decade ago, India ranked 11th among the largest economies, while the U.K. was the 5th.  The news came just after the country celebrated its 75th anniversary of independence from the U.K., which it achieved after nearly 100 years of direct rule.   ”, Fox Business, September 4, 2022

Indonesia

A Surprise Winner as Emerging Markets Crumble – President Joko Widodo wants Indonesia to be more than a source of commodities, and investors are buying it. Developing nations are reeling from the double whammy of Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes and China’s economic slowdown. They are burning through foreign reserves at the fastest pace since the 2008, to defend their currencies and cover higher import bills for food and fuel. Indonesia, which was singled out as a Fragile Five less than a decade ago for its vulnerable currency and reliance on hot foreign money, has been a haven of relative calm.”, Bloomberg, August 25, 2022

Italy

An Italian Region Is Cutting Gas Bills as Prices Soar Elsewhere – Basilicata residents are due to get free gas from Shell, Eni – Southern region has bucked trend of reducing gas production. A small region in Italy’s impoverished south is about to enjoy a discount on gas bills of as much as 50% just as prices keep breaking records across Europe. Basilicata is reaping the benefits of a controversial decision to continue exploiting its vast gas reserves even as the rest of Italy reduced or halted production, largely over environmental concerns. Expanding domestic oil and gas production has become a divisive issue ahead of elections next month.”, Bloomberg, August 26, 2022

Japan

Japan turns back to nuclear power in post-Fukushima shift – Prime minister says government will step up reactor restarts and study construction of new plants. (Prime Minister Fumio) Kishida’s decision to throw his political weight behind the nuclear power sector is intended to rein in soaring energy costs for households and companies and to support Japan’s nuclear technology manufacturers.”, The Financial Times, August 24, 2022

Nigeria

Nigeria Pays Part of Airline Dues Amid Flight Suspension Threats – Nigeria released some funds owed to international air carriers to try and avert a crisis in the aviation sector amid warnings of flight suspensions from operators including Dubai’s Emirates Airline.   The Central Bank of Nigeria released $265 million to settle ticket sales owed to airline operators, it said late on Friday. Nigeria — Africa’s biggest economy — owes carriers $464 million, the International Air Transport Association said this month.”, Bloomberg, August 27, 2022

Portugal

Foreign tourism to Portugal surpasses pre-COVID levels in July – The number of foreign tourists visiting Portugal slightly surpassed pre-pandemic levels in July for the first time since the end of most COVID-19 restrictions, data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) showed on Wednesday. More than 1.8 million foreigners stayed in Portuguese hotels last month, up from around 600,000 a year ago, when the country still had some restrictions in place, and slightly above 1.78 million in July of 2019, which was a record year for tourism.”, Reuters, August 31, 2022

Singapore

Singapore Hotel Prices Hit 10-Year High as City Roars Back to Life – Arrivals accelerating as Covid-19 restrictions are eased. Pace expected to continue with F1 event, slew of concerts. Hotel rooms in Singapore are now the most expensive in almost a decade as the city-state seeks to position itself as the tourism and business destination in Asia with a slew of high-profile events lined up for the coming months.”, Bloomberg, September 4, 2022

United Kingdom

“Liz Truss vows to ‘deliver’ after winning race to be new prime minister – In her acceptance speech, Truss promised to cut taxes, deal with energy bills and fix the NHS, and appeared to rule out an early election, saying: ‘We will deliver a great victory for the Conservative Party in 2024’.”, The Time of London, September 5, 2022

Britain heading for recession as business contracts – The likelihood of the British economy sliding into recession has risen after a closely-watched survey showed business activity contracted last month for the first time in a year and a half. The latest composite purchasing managers’ index (PMI), which encompasses the services and manufacturing sectors, has been revised down to 49.6 for August, from an initial flash reading of 50.9, S&P Global said. In a further sign of the faltering economy, the survey result for the services sector last month was also lowered from the preliminary flash reading of 52.5 to 50.9, which represented the weakest growth for 18 months.”, The Times of London, September 3, 2022

United States

US Goods-Trade Gap Narrows to Least Since October as Imports Drop Again(Value) of consumer-goods imports fell most since at least 1992 Overall imports declined 3.5% to $270 billion, Census says. The US merchandise-trade deficit narrowed in July to the smallest since October as imports fell for a fourth month, suggesting a tailwind for economic growth in the third quarter.”, Bloomberg, August 26, 2022

KPMG to Cut Manhattan Office Space in Move to New U.S. Headquarters at Hudson Yards – Firm shrinking its New York office space by over 40% as it pursues hybrid-work strategy. The KPMG deal also highlights the harsh new reality for the office sector. Companies are still willing to spend big on modern office space with more amenities, outdoor space and energy efficiency. But they often want far less of it. That leaves landlords with increasingly large holes to fill, especially in older buildings.”, The Wall Street Journal, August 23, 2022

Vietnam

“Good morning Vietnam: the world’s new factory is emerging – Amid tensions with China, the nation’s manufacturing sector is booming. In 2021, Vietnam’s exports hit $336 billion (£282 billion) in value, up 19 per cent from 2020 despite the pandemic. Foreign-invested production dominates, with 73 per cent of last year’s export turnover generated by international firms.”, The Times Of London, August 28, 2022

Brand News

American chain Planet Smoothie opens its first two Australian stores – Kahala Brands, the franchisor and owner of the Planet Smoothie brand, has collaborated with the Docklands-based Smoothie Group to expand into Australia. The company plans to open an additional location in the second quarter of next year.”, Insideretail.com.au, August 24, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Bonchon is Crunching the Competition with Record Sales Numbers – The Korean fried chicken brand is on fire and outperforming the industry average as it leads the fast-casual and casual dining segments, according to mid-year data from research firm Black Box Intelligence™. Bonchon has experienced a year-over-year sales increase of 12 percent and the brand’s AUV has increased by 24.7% to $1.57 million since VIG Partners invested in the company in 2018. It’s full-steam ahead for the second half of the year, with plans to grow by 20 percent before the end of the year.”, Franchising.com, September 5,l 2022

Denny’s hires presidents for both its brands – Denny’s has promoted John Dillon, chief brand officer, to president of Denny’s effective Sept. 1, the company announced Thursday.  David Schmidt, who recently served as CFO at Red Lobster, has been hired as president for Keke’s Breakfast Cafe, effective Sept. 12. These appointments come a month after Denny’s closed its $82.5 million acquisition of Keke’s Breakfast Cafe, which will operate independently of Denny’s.”, Restaurant Dive, August 26, 2022

Hardee’s Has Teamed Up With A Nashville Brewery To Create A Beer That Includes The Chain’s Signature Biscuits – Hardee’s announced today it is working with Nashville-based Southern Grist Brewing Co. to turn its famous biscuits into a Strawberry Biscuit Ale. Specifically, the brewer has figured out a way to infuse Hardee’s biscuits into a full-bodied, cream ale that incorporates hints of strawberry jam and buttermilk.”, Forbes, August 30, 2022

Top Pizza Franchise Becomes Billion-Dollar Brand – Marco’s Pizza, the nation’s fastest-growing pizza brand*, recently crossing the $1B annual systemwide sales mark and opening its 1,100th store. Marco’s expects greater expansion of its geographic footprint with more than 230 stores currently in development. Multi-unit franchisees play a huge part in the continuous growth of the brand. In fact, nearly half of Marco’s current franchise network is made up of multi-unit operators……”, Franchising.com, September 5, 2022

Overweight in the coffee market McDonald’s (China) plans to add about 1 000 McCafé stores in 2023 – On August 31, McCafé, a professional handcrafted coffee brand owned by McDonald’s, announced the launch of the “Milk Iron Series”. This product is a brand-new milk coffee product developed by McCafe on the basis of understanding the coffee taste of Chinese consumers. “Milk Iron” will be sold in nearly 2,500 McAfee stores nationwide as an exclusive star product of McAfee. As a result, McCafe also announced the latest plan. It is expected that about 1,000 new stores will be added in 2023, mainly in third-tier cities.”, Beijing Business Daily, September 2, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

American chain Planet Smoothie opens its first two Australian stores – Kahala Brands, the franchisor and owner of the Planet Smoothie brand, has collaborated with the Docklands-based Smoothie Group to expand into Australia. The company plans to open an additional location in the second quarter of next year.”, Insideretail.com.au, August 24, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

PRET-flation! How lunchtime and pub favourites have soared in price amid cost-of-living crisis with Pret A Manger tuna sandwich up 50p to £3.80. It comes after fast-food chain McDonalds last month raised the price of its iconic – and once seemingly inflation-beating – 99p cheeseburger to £1.19. It was the first time the burger’s price had been increased in more than 14 years.  It comes as all restaurants and grab and go spots face a double whammy of increasing costs. Ingredients such as flour and cooking oils have all gone up in price as a knock on from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while shops, cafes and restaurants are also feeling the pinch due to spiraling gas prices.”, DailyMail.com, September 3, 2022

Red Rooster (Australia) celebrates 50 years of Red – Red Rooster is celebrating 50 years of serving as Australia’s chicken shop through promotions such as limited merchandise collection and a chance to win 50,000 Red Royalty Dollars. The chicken shop is ‘painting the town Red’ by offering various initiatives to more than 360 Red Rooster restaurants.”, Qsrmedia.com.au, August 22, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

Slowbalization – This chart is from “Globalization ’22 – What Will The Future Hold”, a presentation made by Team 4 in the Executive MBA 23 course at the University of Southern California, Irvine led by Dr. Leonard Lane. Bill Edwards was asked to monitor and contribute to the final course team presentations. https://bit.ly/3D2ba1y

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Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

Our biweekly global business update newsletter focuses on what is happening around the worldthat impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment, economic development and travel. We daily monitor 30+ countries, 40+ international information sources and six business sectors to keep up with what is going on in this ever-changing environment. Our GlobalTeam™ covering 43 countries provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries. 

To sign up for our biweekly newsletter click here: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

William (Bill) Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. He has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East and has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey. Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) provides a complete International solution for companies Going Global. From initial global market research and country prioritization, to developing new international markets, providing in-country operations support and problem solving around the world. EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence. For advice on doing business successfully across 40+ countries, contact Bill Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896. 

www.edwardsglobal.com

Download our latest chart ranking 40+ countries as places to do business at this link:

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EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 63, Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Edited and curated by: William (Bill) Edwards, CFE, CEO of Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS)

Lots of individual country and brand updates in this issue. Plus, mixed signals on global oil & gas demand, inflation and economic growth. And, as you know if you travel a lot like me, the ease of travel is not back to 2019 when ‘ease’ was not the right word either!

To receive this biweekly newsletter that is read by 1,450 people in 20 countries, click here : https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”, William Bruce Cameron

 “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”, John Lennon

 “You never really learn much from hearing yourself speak.”, George Clooney

Highlights in issue #63:

  • Brand Global News Section: Aqua-Tots®, Dutch Bros.®, F45®, Jollibee”s®, Krispy Kreme®, Marco’s Pizza®, McDonalds®, Popeyes®, Tom Hortons® and Wendy’s®

NOTE: Bolded headlines in this newsletter are live links where the article is freely available

Interesting Data and Studies

Brands Play A Role In Happiness Even When The World Is In Crisis – Happiness is currently getting a lot of attention and it should. It’s a vital element to a healthy balanced life and in the current climate it feels in short supply. During times of turmoil, like now, it can seem wrong to be focused on something so individual when bigger problems fill our thoughts and news feeds. Research is showing that it’s more helpful to think of happiness as an active noun and complex concept that requires regular review and updating. To make happiness part of life we need to reframe our understanding of it to encompass a wider emotional and intellectual range. Brands can help with that.”, Forbes, August 11, 2022

Global Supply Chain, Energy, Commodities, Inflation & Trade Issues

Inflation Rates Are Rising Unevenly Around the World – Prices are rising all over the world at a pace that hasn’t been seen in decades, and central banks have responded by lifting rates. Here, we provide a snapshot of global and US data that help explain what’s happening. The war in Ukraine, the pandemic, and supply chain stress are all playing a role. Larger economies in Europe and the Americas, particularly Brazil, have seen a more dramatic upswing in consumer prices in the past few years than countries in Asia, where inflation gains in Japan and China have been muted.”, Bloomberg, August 12, 2022

Oil Demand Accelerates as Gas Crisis Spurs Switch, IEA Says – Consumption growth boosted by 380,000 b/d to 2.1 million b/d Oil market spared squeeze as stockpiles seen accumulating. World oil consumption will now increase by 2.1 million barrels a day this year, or about 2%, up 380,000 a day from the previous forecast, the Paris-based agency said in its latest monthly report. The extra demand that prompted the revision is “overwhelmingly concentrated” in the Middle East and Europe.”, Bloomberg, August 11, 2022

OPEC Cuts Oil-Demand Forecasts as Economic Growth Slows – Oil supply and demand were close to balanced in second quarter. OPEC’s revisions come as oil prices have eased significantly from the highs they hit in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Fears about slowing economic growth and signs of respite from a global energy crisis have undercut oil prices, which this month fell to their lowest level since February. While OPEC lowered its forecast for global economic growth this year and next, it said demand for oil—while more modest—would still be robust.”, The Wall Street Journal, August 11, 2022

LNG, Fastest-Growing U.S. Export Since Covid-19, Heading To Europe – The fastest-growing top 100 U.S. export from pre-pandemic 2019 is LNLN 0.0%G and other natural gases, up almost 10 times as much in value as the overall average. This year, the fastest-growing markets for the United States’ No. 3-ranked export are in Western Europe, when compared to the comparable first six months of last year. According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, overall U.S. exports topped $1 billion through June for the first time.”, Forbes, August 13, 2022

Key European Power Price Doubles in Two Months as Crisis Deepens  – German and UK day-ahead prices also soar to record highs Governments are under pressure to ease burden on households. Next-year electricity rates in Germany advanced as much as 3.7% to 477.50 euros ($487) a megawatt-hour on the European Energy Exchange AG. That’s almost six times as much as this time last year, with the price doubling in the past two months alone.”, Bloomberg, August 15, 2022

Global & Regional Travel Updates

Forget 2022: Travel isn’t expected to improve until next year – As predicted, the summer 2022 travel season turned out to be unlike any summer in recent memory. After a trickle of COVID-19 restrictions eased over many months, travelers flooded airports and tourist destinations at rates not seen in three years and with a fervor not seen in even longer than that. It’s safe to say it did not all go according to plan. While hours-long waits and piles of luggage proved nightmarish for travelers overseas, flight disruptions in the U.S. surpassed ordinary frustration.”, The Points Guy,  August 19, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

Australia

A third of Aussie workers would trade a small pay cut for better work-life balance: LinkedIn – One in four workers would also take lower pay in exchange for a stronger chance to grow in the role, more flexibility to work onsite or remote, more inspiring company leadership, and a greater focus on their whole self at work, according to the index released this week. Cayla Dengate, LinkedIn Careers Expert, said a focus on workplace flexibility may be driven by many Aussies taking stock of what’s most important in their life following two years of disruption.”, Smart Company AU, August 5, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Brazil

Brazil’s central bank chief predicts end of credit cards – Brazil’s central bank chief Roberto Campos Neto on Friday said he believes credit cards will cease to exist soon due to the growth of the open finance system, through which clients authorize financial data sharing with different institutions. Open finance is a central bank project that has been implemented in phases since 2021. Speaking at an event about cryptocurrencies, Campos Neto projected that, through the system, users will control all aspects of their financial life in one “integrator” on their mobile, rather than having many apps from different banks.” Reuters, August 12, 2022

Canada

Metro shoppers ‘trading down’ as inflation weighs, executives say retailer absorbing some cost increases – Grocery store owner Metro Inc. executives say they are not passing on all of their cost increases to shoppers, even as prices in stores have increased and the company reported a 9-per-cent jump in third-quarter profit. ‘Our costs have gone up significantly. We are absorbing some of those costs’, chief executive officer Eric La Flèche said on a call with analysts Wednesday to discuss the financial results. The Montreal-based retailer reported that its food basket inflation was 8.5 per cent. According to Statscan, grocery prices across the country rose by 9.4 per cent in June compared to a year earlier, slowing from a 9.7-per-cent jump in May.”, The Globe and Mail, August 11, 2022

The Great Resignation has arrived in Canada – It took a while for a version of the Great Resignation to take hold in Canada, but now it’s here. It has taken the form of a retirement wave – and its arrival further clouds the outlook for an already murky economy. Last week’s July employment report from Statistics Canada revealed that a record 300,000 Canadians have retired over the past 12 months. That’s up nearly 30 per cent from the same time last year, and nearly 15 per cent from the months leading up to the pandemic in early 2020.”, The Globe and Mail, August 11, 2022

China

China’s Youth Unemployment Rate Rises to Another Record – China’s urban youth unemployment rate reached 19.9% in July, the highest level since record keeping began in January 2018, according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data released on Monday. It’s the fourth consecutive month of record high unemployment among urbanites from 16 to 24 years old, with the rate increasing 0.6 percentage points from June. Fu Linghui, a spokesperson for NBS, cited the slow recovery of the service industry, hampered by Covid-19, and the large cohort of graduates entering the job market during the graduating season around July and August, as reasons for the heightened youth joblessness.”, Caixing Global, August 15, 2022

Shanghai Schools to Reopen After Classes Suspended in March – Shanghai will reopen kindergartens, primary and secondary schools in September, almost six months after in-person classes were suspended, with strict measures in place to avoid the spread of Covid-19. Students and teachers must be in Shanghai for two weeks before schools start on Sept. 1, and take two nucleic acid, or PCR, Covid tests within three days before returning to campuses, the city’s education authority said in a statement on Sunday. They will also need to produce a negative test result everyday to attend classes as China continues to pursue a Covid Zero policy.”, Bloomberg, August 13, 2022

Euro Zone Countries

Economists Say a Euro-Zone Recession Is Now More Likely Than Not – Respondents in survey see 60% chance of downturn in next year……The risk of a euro-area recession has reached the highest level since November 2020 as energy shortages threaten to drive already record inflation higher still, according to economists polled by Bloomberg.”, Bloomberg, August 14, 2022

Germany

Forget Inflation. Shrinkflation Is Sparking Fury in Germany – Packages of goods are getting smaller as prices hold firm Shoppers are inundating consumer authorities with complaints. German shoppers are getting increasingly angry at attempts to hike goods prices by stealth. While so-called shrinkflation — where the cost of a product stays the same though its size declines — isn’t a new phenomenon, consumer-protection authorities in Europe’s top economy are being inundated by complaints. Food prices are the biggest driver of German inflation after energy, rising at an annual pace of 14% in July — almost twice as much as the overall index.”, Bloomberg, August 12, 2022

Indonesia

Shiny EVs in Sight, Indonesia Mulls Nickel Export Tax – The biggest producer of the EV battery metal, which is also used to make stainless steel, Indonesia is looking to add more value locally in a bid to boost revenues and jobs, President Joko Widodo told Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait in a wide-ranging interview in Jakarta. The potential move, which was flagged earlier this year by another official, is one step on a path that could ultimately mean a ban on exports of all raw materials.”, Bloomberg, August 19, 2022

Israel

Israel inflation rate jumps to new 14-year high of 5.2% y/y in July…..the most since October 2008 and following a 4.4% rate in June, as more aggressive interest rate hikes loom and keep the soaring cost of living centre stage ahead of an election in November. A Reuters poll of analysts had projected an inflation rate of 4.6%. CPI rose 1.1% in July from June, led by gains in transport, housing rentals and fresh fruit, the Central Bureau of Statistics said on Monday.”, Reuters, August 15, 2022

Malaysia

Malaysia’s GDP Growth to Quicken on Pent-Up Demand……Local demand, robust trade to help maintain momentum, FM says Government won’t boost borrowings to pay for subsidies. Malaysia’s economic growth will accelerate this quarter after expanding at the fastest pace in a year, driven by private consumption as activities resume, Finance Minister Zafrul Aziz said. ‘People are underestimating the strength of the pent-up demand,’ he said in an interview on Saturday. ‘Restaurants are packed, traffic jams have returned, the unemployment rate has fallen to below 4% and the first-half tax collections have been way above our estimate.’”, Bloomberg, August 13, 2022

The Philippines

Philippines Wealth Creation: Economic Recovery Gains Momentum In 2022 – The Philippines’ economy is expected to shrug off the impact of rate hikes and rising commodity prices to recover to pre-pandemic levels this year. GDP is forecast to hit 7%—thanks to returning tourists and a rise in household spending—before inflationary headwinds slow growth to 6.3% in 2023 and 6.4% in 2024. Even with the budget deficit running over 8% of GDP (the highest in Southeast Asia), the new administration of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is eyeing an expansionary fiscal policy as it tackles unemployment and poverty.”, Forbes, August 10, 2022

Thailand

Tourists Pouring Back Into Thailand Underpin Outperforming Baht – Earlier this month, a government spokesman said the nation expects to attract 10 million international tourists this year, compared with the 6.1 million forecast in April. Visitors are seen rising to 30 million people next year, still shy of the 40 million who traveled to the country in the year before Covid spread. That rebound is important for Thailand, considering that the travel-related sector accounted for about a fifth of the nation’s economy before the pandemic.”, Bloomberg, August 14, 2022

Ukraine

McDonald’s Charts Path to Reopen in Ukraine – McDonald’s Corp. plans to reopen some restaurants in Ukraine after shuttering them when Russia invaded the country in February.  The world’s biggest fast-food chain will begin working with partners in the coming months to supply locations with products, prep the properties and bring employees back on site, the company said in a statement. McDonald’s didn’t provide a specific reopening date.”, Bloomberg, August 11, 2022 

United Kingdom

Workers going into office 1.5 days a week, survey suggests – UK workers are going into the office an average of 1.5 days a week, with only 13% coming in on a Friday, a survey suggests. Consultancy Advanced Workplace Associates surveyed 43 offices in the UK, representing nearly 50,000 people, in June and July. It suggests average attendance was 29%, with a peak of 39% mid-week. Pre-Covid, UK workers were going into the office an average of 3.8 days a week, according to the research which covered sectors including banking, energy, engineering, healthcare, insurance and tech.”, BBC News, August 15, 2022

United States

If the Economy Is Shrinking, Why Is Everything Going Gangbusters? Economists are struggling to explain the global outlook. Maybe it’s better to ask someone in oil. A lot of recent data doesn’t sit well with the prevailing economic narrative. The US economy has shrunk for two consecutive quarters, yet the labor market is still going gangbusters, inflation looks increasingly subdued and retail sales for July beat expectations. But this is not a conventional business cycle, argues Jared Dillian. The damage wrought on supply chains by the pandemic, unprecedented fiscal stimulus and years of negative real interest rates have made soothsaying particularly troublesome. ‘But just because the data doesn’t fit Wall Street’s longstanding models that worked in the pre-pandemic era doesn’t mean that it’s “noise,”’ writes Jared. ‘It probably means the models are in dire need of updating.’”, Bloomberg, August 19, 2022

U.S. Companies on Pace to Bring Home Record Number of Overseas Jobs – After Covid-19 pandemic upended supply chains, American companies are shifting jobs and processes to the U.S. U.S. companies are bringing workforces and supply chains home at a historic pace. American companies are on pace to reshore, or return to the U.S., nearly 350,000 jobs this year, according to a report expected Friday from the Reshoring Initiative. That would be the highest number on record since the group began tracking the data in 2010.”, The Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2022

Brand News

Aqua-Tots Dives Deeper into Mexico with New Tijuana Location – Aqua-Tots Swim Schools has been renowned for its work teaching children across the United States how to swim for more than 30 years. Now, that same opportunity is available to more families south of the U.S. border in Baja California! Aqua-Tots opened its second location in Mexico – and 22nd international site – on July 18, just miles from the California border in Tijuana.”, Franchising.com, July 29, 2022

Dutch Bros. on track for 130 new stores in 2022; Q2 revenue jumps – The fast-growing coffee opened 65 stores during the second quarter — including its 600th location — and is on track for at least 130 openings for the full year. Dutch Bros., which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, currently operates 603 locations across 14 states. ‘Our newest shops are exhibiting predictable and consistent sales and upward margin progression, while our 2020 and 2021 classes are generating annualized volumes that are 10% higher than our system average,’ said Joth Ricci, CEO and president, Dutch Bros.”, Chain Store Age, August 11, 2022

How F45’s cash-draining celebrity deals left it gasping for air – Embattled Aussie fitness franchise F45 has had to overcome some significant hurdles in its rise to prominence and more recently, its fight for survival. And that includes multi-million dollar payments to the celebrities who were brought in to turbocharge its now-abandoned global expansion plans. F45’s US-listed shares plunged following a July 26 market update stating it had lost the financing underpinning its franchise sales. The update also revealed the company’s plans to slash staff and downgrade earnings and revenue forecasts for this year.”, Brisbane Times, August 19, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Jollibee’s Profit Nearly Triples as System-Wide Sales Hit Record – Jollibee Foods Corp., the largest Philippine restaurant operator, saw its profit jump by nearly 200% in the second quarter as diners returned with the easing of Covid restrictions. ‘We are encouraged to see further improvement in dine-in sales while at the same time sustaining growth in our delivery business,’ chief executive officer Ernesto Tanmantiong said in a statement Thursday. Sales were better than expected and have returned to pre-pandemic levels, he said.”, Bloomberg, August 10, 2022

Why Krispy Kreme Isn’t Doing As Well As You Think – Although Krispy Kreme performed well in 2021 and predicted strong growth due to the implementation of its Hub and Spoke business model, unexpected economic circumstances have caused issues for the brand in 2022. According to Restaurant Business Online, the company’s shares dropped 15% earlier this week due to projected revenues not living up to expectations. Krispy Kreme’s international stores helped drive revenue growth in 2021, but in 2022, the company is taking a hit from its U.K. stores. According to CNN, operating costs for businesses are up across the board in the U.K.”, Mashed, August 19, 2022

Marco’s Pizza Reaches 1,100 Stores and $1B in Annual Sales – These achievements come on the heels of aggressive franchise expansion with more than 200 stores in development, alongside record-breaking growth that has helped catapult its strong performance as America’s No. 5 pizza brand in systemwide sales. Multi-unit growth continues to play a strategic role in Marco’s rapid expansion, with nearly half of its current franchise network made up of multi-unit operators.”, Franchising.com, August 10, 2022

Only two Popeyes outlets now open in Shanghai – Only two restaurants of the American fried chicken chain Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen remain operational in Shanghai, according to local restaurant review and booking site Dianping. The two outlets are the Popeyes flagship store on Huaihai Road and another at the Shinmay Union Square in the Pudong New Area. The four other stores, however, have closed. Popeyes China is operated by PLK APAC Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Restaurant Brands International Inc, and it’s not yet clear whether the remaining two stores will stay operational.”, Shina.cn, August 9, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

Tim Hortons officially launches in India today with unique menu items – The iconic Canadian chain is becoming well known across the world for its signature coffee, iconic beverages, delicious food, and the specialty items that are unique to each location. India is no different, introducing several brand new menu options we’ve never seen before, like Chole Kulcha Flatbread, Chicken Makhani Ravioli Pasta, and Paneer Tikka Wraps. The Chilli Cheese Toast, Chicken Tikka Croissant Sandwich, and Lamb Kebab Wrap are just three more tasty-sounding items we really wish we had here in Canada.”, The Daily Hive, August 11, 2022

America’s Second-Largest Burger Chain Walks Back Major Expansion Plans – To the delight of Frosty and Baconator lovers across the globe, Wendy’s announced an ambitious expansion plan last year, which would add 1,200 locations to its roster by 2025. More than half of these new locations—around 700 to be exact—were planned as delivery-only ghost kitchens to be operated and staffed through a collaboration with Reef Kitchens. But, it appears the burger chain may have bitten off more than it could chew, and is now drastically pulling back on its ghost kitchen strategy. Wendy’s announced it is cutting down the number of Reef locations it will open from 700 to just 100 to 150, with a significant decrease in units specifically within the U.S.”, Eat This, Not That¡, August 11, 2022

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

Where will the world’s next 1,000 babies be born? Every four minutes, approximately 1,000 babies are born across the globe. But in which countries are these babies the most statistically likely to come from? Using data from the CIA World Factbook, this graphic by Pratap Vardhan (Stats of India) paints a picture of the world’s demographics, showing which countries are most likely to welcome the next 1,000 babies based on population and birth rates as of 2022 estimates.”, Visual Capitalist, August 19, 2022

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Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

Our biweekly global business update newsletter focuses on what is happening around the worldthat impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment, economic development and travel. We daily monitor 30+ countries, 40+ international information sources and six business sectors to keep up with what is going on in this ever-changing environment. Our GlobalTeam™ covering 43 countries provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries. 

To sign up for our biweekly newsletter click here: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

William (Bill) Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. He has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East and has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey. Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) provides a complete International solution for companies Going Global. From initial global market research and country prioritization, to developing new international markets, providing in-country operations support and problem solving around the world. EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence. For advice on doing business successfully across 40+ countries, contact Bill Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896. 

www.edwardsglobal.com

Download our latest chart ranking 40+ countries as places to do business at this link:

Our latest GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 62, Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Edited and curated by: William (Bill) Edwards, CFE, CEO of Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS)

As someone who travels to many countries as part of my job, I am encouraged by the level of increased global business travel. Not so much by the lack of staff in airports! On the other hand, an increasing percentage of professionals around the world have chosen not to return to central city offices. And who knew that half of the world’s population live in just seven countries?

To receive this biweekly newsletter that is read by 1,450 people in 20 countries, click here : https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

“Being positive is a sign of intelligence.”, Maxime Lagacé

“You can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will.”, Stephen King

“A problem is a chance for you to do your best.”, Duke Ellington

Highlights in issue #62:

  • Brand Global News Section: Anytime Fitness®, California Pizza Kitchen®, McDonald’s®

NOTE: Bolded headlines in this newsletter are live links where the article is freely available

Interesting Data and Studies

World Food Prices Post Biggest Decline Since 2008 in July – Drop offers some relief amid deepening cost-of-living crisis. Ukraine restarted some grain shipments after deal with Russia. Global food prices fell the most since 2008 after concerns over supplies of grains and vegetable oils eased as Ukraine moved toward restarting exports. A United Nations index of world food costs plunged almost 9% in July. The index fell to the lowest since January, before Russia’s blockade of ports in Ukraine — a major food exporter — pushed up food costs to a record.”, Bloomberg, August 5, 2022

Global population projected to exceed 8 billion in 2022; half live in just seven countries –  As recently as 2015, half the world’s population was concentrated in just six countries – the same as above, with the exception of Nigeria, which was then the seventh most populous country and has since passed Brazil to move into sixth place. Recent population growth, however, has been faster in the rest of the world than in these nations, meaning that the top six now hold slightly less than half (49%) of the world’s people.”, Pew Research, July 21, 2022

Global Supply Chain, Energy, Commodities, Inflation & Trade Issues

“European gas prices soar after Russia deepens supply cuts – Futures contracts hit five-month high after Gazprom announces drop in flows. Russian state-backed energy group Gazprom on Monday said flows on the Nord Stream 1 (NS1) pipeline would plummet to 33mn cubic metres from Wednesday because of turbine maintenance issues. That would amount to a fifth of the pipeline’s capacity and half of current levels.”, The Financial Times, July 26, 2022. (NOTE: USA price per megawatt hour was US$54 on July 26, 2022.

The World’s Largest Container Shipping Companies – Did you know that 80% of the global goods trade is transported over sea? Given the scale of human consumption, this requires an enormous number of shipping containers, as well as ships to carry them. At an industry level, container shipping is dominated by several very large firms. Companies are ranked by two metrics. First is the number of ships they own, and second is their total shipping capacity measured in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). A TEU is based on the volume of a twenty-foot long shipping container.”, Visual Capitalist, July 26, 2022

Which Countries Produce the Most Wheat? While more than 80 different countries produce wheat around the world, the majority of global wheat production comes from just a handful of countries, according to data from The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). China, the world’s largest wheat producer, has yielded more than 2.4 billion tonnes of wheat over the last two decades, making up roughly 17% of total production from 2000-2020.  The second-largest wheat-producing country is India. Over the last two decades, India has produced 12.5% of the world’s wheat.”, Visual Capitalist and FAOSTAT, July 31, 2022

Global & Regional Travel Updates

International Passenger Demand Triples in June – The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) has released the passenger data for June showing an unsurprising rise in passenger demand. Using the industry metric of Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) to indicate total passenger traffic IATA’s figures indicate a 76.2% increase over 2021. As a comparison passenger traffic was at approximately 71% of pre-pandemic levels.”, Air Geeks, August 5, 2022

Qantas Airways Ltd. needs executives from head office to leave their jobs for three months and haul luggage full-time to address a stubborn labor shortage that’s disrupting flights. The airline is looking for at least 100 volunteers to carry out shift work at Sydney and Melbourne airports, Chief Operating Officer Colin Hughes wrote in a note to managers that was shared by Qantas Monday. Tasks include loading and unloading luggage, as well as driving the vehicles that take bags to planes and between terminals. Applicants must be able to move suitcases weighing as much as 32 kilograms (70 pounds), according to the memo.”, Bloomberg, August 7, 2022

Europe’s airport staff continue to strike over low pay and working conditions – Across Europe, airport and airline staff have been striking, causing severe disruption to summer travel. Employees including ground staff, baggage handlers, cabin crew and pilots have been walking out in countries like Spain, Italy and the UK. With traveller numbers almost back to pre-pandemic levels, the industrial action has caused chaos at airports around Europe.”, Euro News, August 8, 2022

Hong Kong Cuts Hotel Quarantine to Three Days to Revive Travel – Quarantine will be followed by four days of health monitoring Strict rules had deterred travelers to Asian financial hub.”, Bloomberg, August 7, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

Australia

In a post-pandemic world, 30 per cent of work will be at home – About 30 per cent of all working days will be done from home in the post-pandemic “new normal” – up to 50 per cent among those who can easily work remotely – according to a respected survey of American workers to be presented to a Sydney audience this week. The research also suggests employers could use working from home to limit wage growth and that employees would sacrifice a portion of their income to preserve their right to work from home.”, Brisbane Times, July 27, 2022. Compliments of Compliments of Jason  Gehrke, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Canada

Canada sheds jobs again, but unemployment rate holds at record lowThe economy shed 31,000 positions last month, after a decline of 43,000 in June, Statistics Canada said in a report on Friday. Financial analysts on Bay Street were expecting a stronger return of 15,000 jobs added. Despite the decline, the unemployment rate remained at 4.9 per cent – the lowest in nearly five decades of data.”, The Globe And Mail, August 5, 2022

China

Beijing Reopens Its Doors to International Flights – Previously, as part of the efforts to reduce the possibility of Covid-19 spreading in the nation’s capital, China rerouted all international flights bound to Beijing to alternative destinations for passengers to complete quarantine first. To reduce the effort of inspection and quarantine, all Beijing-bound international flights, and regional flights from Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan will arrive at Beijing’s Capital International Airport. Beijing’s Daxing International Airport is still only open to domestic flights.”, Airline Geeks, July 28, 2022

China’s IPO Queue Gets Longer as Covid Curbs Ease – The number of companies waiting in line to go public on the Chinese mainland’s stock markets has reached around 1,000, as the economy began to pick up steam after Covid restrictions in some of its largest cities were eased. Many Chinese companies rush to launch IPOs not just for the money that they can raise, but also because they want the gloss that comes with a listed firm, a brokerage source told Caixin. Some local governments also see increasing the number of listed companies based in their area as one of their development goals, the source said.”, Caixing Global, August 8, 2022

India

Apple Postpones Opening of First Physical Store in India to 2023, Report Says – Apple’s flagship store in India was reportedly scheduled to open in 2021 before it was hit with pandemic-related delays. Apple is seeking to open a 22,000-square-foot store at an upscale shopping mall in the teeming financial capital of Mumbai.”, CNET, July 28, 2022

Russia

McDonald’s writes off $1.2 billion due to withdrawal from Russia – In March, McDonald’s suspended operations in Russia in response to the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine. On May 16, the company officially announced the sale of its business in Russia. In June, the new owners of McDonald`s Russian assets opened some of the restaurants.”, Kommersant.ru, July 26, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

Singapore

Think U.S. car prices are bad? In Singapore you have to spend $82,000 just for the right to buy a car, on top of the car itself – In a bid to manage a large population squeezed onto a tiny island, and in an effort to cut down on traffic and pollution, the tiny island nation has made it prohibitively expensive to own a car.  The country requires citizens to bid on—and win—a state-issued “certificate of entitlement” (COE) before they’re legally entitled to purchase, operate and own a car for a 10-year period. After the 10-year mark, residents must buy another COE if they want to maintain their car ownership. If they fail to do so, they must scrap or sell their vehicle or export it to another country.”, Fortune magazine, July 25, 2022

South Korea

South Korea Accelerates LNG Purchases to Avoid Winter Shortage Nation seeking to purchase additional cargoes to ensure supply Inventories have been depleted as heat boosted summer demand. South Korea is looking to buy more liquefied natural gas to replenish stockpiles before winter.  The world’s third-biggest importer of the chilled fuel is seeking additional cargoes to meet forecasts for increased domestic demand and is targeting to lift inventories to about 90% full by November, from about 34% currently, the Energy Ministry said Monday.”, Bloomberg, August 8, 2022

Spain

Spain edges closer to pre-pandemic tourism levels with 7.5 mln visitors in June – More than twice as many tourists visited Spain in June than in the same month last year and they spent almost three times as much during their stay, National Statistics Institute data showed on Tuesday…….Before the pandemic put a halt to travel in 2020, Spain received a total of 38.2 million tourists in 2019, with 8.8 million visiting in June.”, Reuters, August 2, 2022

United Kingdom

How ready is Britain for a gas crisis this winter? It is true that we get very little energy from Russia, but the country is still heavily exposed. As Russia tightens the screw on gas supplies to Europe and amid growing fears of winter shortages, the government has stayed resolute in its insistence that the country’s energy is secure. “Unlike Europe, Britain isn’t dependent on Russian gas,” it has said. ‘The UK’s secure and diverse energy supplies will ensure households, businesses and industry can be confident they can get the electricity and gas they need.’”, The Times of London, August 8, 2022

United States

U.S. trade deficit narrows sharply; exports at record high – The Commerce Department said on Thursday that the trade deficit decreased 6.2% to $79.6 billion. Exports of goods and services shot up 1.7% to an all-time high of $260.8 billion, while imports slipped 0.3% to $340.4 billion.”, Reuters, August 4, 2022

Hiring Gets Easier for Some Employers Despite Hot Job Market – Verizon, Uber, Marriott and others hardest hit by the pandemic say recruiting is up or turnover down. Some big U.S. companies say hiring is getting easier, at least by a little. Employers in hospitality, retail, healthcare and other industries hardest hit by worker shortages over the past two years say they are seeing emerging signs that recruiting workers—and getting them to accept jobs when offered—is becoming less of a challenge, even as the overall job market remains tight.”, The Wall Street Journal, August 8, 2022

Brand News

Largest Anytime Fitness Franchisee Sold to PE Firm – Bandon Holdings, the largest Anytime Fitness franchisee, has been acquired by Sentinel Capital  Partners. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Austin-based multi-unit franchisee operates 213 Anytime Fitness clubs and has more than 140,000 members in 24 states.”, Franchising.com, August 4, 2022

California Pizza Kitchen Re-Enters India with New Store Opening – The new franchise is owned and operated by Sanjay Mahtani, co-founder and operator of JSM Corporation Pvt. Ltd., an India-based international restaurant group established in 2005. JSM is the master franchisee in India for California Pizza Kitchen as well as the U.S.-based Hard Rock Cafe, in addition to operating its own restaurant brands.”, Franchising.com, July 28, 2022

Domino’s (Australia) fails to deliver for investors – Investors have soured on Domino’s Pizza Enterprises after the US company that owns the brand warned of rising costs including a 30 per cent jump in mozzarella prices. Shares in the ASX listed $6.1 billion Domino’s are down 43 per cent for the year and 6 per cent since Thursday, when the separately owned American company blamed soaring costs for missing quarterly profits.”, Australia Financial Review, July 25, 2022. Compliments of Jason  Gehrke, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

These are the top 10 best and worst places to live in the world—and you won’t find the U.S. on either list – This week, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released their Global Liveability Index ranking of the top 10 best and 10 worst places to live in the world in 2022. The index scored 172 cities in five categories: culture, health care, education, infrastructure, and entertainment. Cities in Scandinavia dominate the list of Most Liveable Cities thanks to the stability and good infrastructure in the region.”, CNBC, August 7, 2022

To receive this biweekly newsletter, click here : https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

Our biweekly global business update newsletter focuses on what is happening around the worldthat impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment, economic development and travel. We daily monitor 30+ countries, 40+ international information sources and six business sectors to keep up with what is going on in this ever-changing environment. Our GlobalTeam™ covering 43 countries provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries. 

To sign up for our biweekly newsletter click here: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

William (Bill) Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. He has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East and has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey. Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) provides a complete International solution for companies Going Global. From initial global market research and country prioritization, to developing new international markets, providing in-country operations support and problem solving around the world. EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence. For advice on doing business successfully across 40+ countries, contact Bill Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896. 

www.edwardsglobal.com

Download our latest chart ranking 40+ countries as places to do business at this link:

Our latest GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 61, Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Edited and curated by: William (Bill) Edwards, CFE, CEO of Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS)

As a 40 year China Hand, I find the “Foreign enterprises in China a decade of opportunities and transformation” article one of the most important in years as to how it for foreign brand to do business in China. We may be close to the top of the inflation curve. Will grain exports begin again soon to the Africa and the Middle East?

The U.S. trade gap narrows. A strong dollar makes this a good time for U.S. tourist in Europe. Africa and Egypt are becoming new tech start-up centers and who knew there were 13 distinct styles of fried chicken around the world?

As of this issue, 1,450 people in 20 countries receive this newsletter.

To receive this biweekly newsletter, click here : https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.” Zig Ziglar

“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.”, Theodore Roosevelt

“Life is like and ocean, it goes up and down.”, Vanessa Paradis

Highlights in issue #61:

  • Brand Global News Section: Five Guys®, Habit Burger®, Starbucks®, Subway® and Tom Horton’s®

NOTE: Bolded headlines in this newsletter are live links to published articles where the article is freely available

Interesting Data and Studies

Why it is too early to say the world economy is in recession – Growth in the rich world is slowing, but has not crashed to a halt. It is clear that central banks have to take the proverbial punchbowl away from the party. Wage growth in the rich world is far too strong given weak productivity growth. The few remaining optimists point to the strength of households and firms. Moreover, surveys suggest that people seem more confident about their personal finances than about the state of the economy. Across the eu as a whole, households are about one-third more likely to be positive about their own finances than they have been, on average, since the data began in the mid-1980s.
, The Economist, July 24, 2022

According to a recent McKinsey survey, most Asia–Pacific and Greater China respondents are optimistic their economies will improve through 2022although overall optimism has declined—whereas those in Europe and North America are more pessimistic, bracing for the worst.”, McKinsey, July 15, 2022

Global Supply Chain, Energy, Commodities, Inflation & Trade Issues

“Why the dollar is so strong – It is a good time to be an American tourist in Europe. Earlier this month the euro briefly dipped below parity with the dollar for the first time in two decades. The greenback is up by nearly 20% against that basket of currencies compared with June last year. It has climbed to heights last scaled in 2002. That is in large part because of the Federal Reserve’s hawkish shift. Determined to rein in inflation, it has increased interest rates by 1.5 percentage points since March.”, The Economist, July 20, 2022

There are 4 possible recession scenarios, UBS says, including one where the S&P 500 rises 16% by the end of 2023 – UBS’ economic models show just a 40% chance of a recession in the U.S. over the next year.  Still, the UBS team acknowledged that “the economy is flying quite low to the ground and looks vulnerable to turbulence.” The team laid out four potential recession scenarios, including one with good news for investors: an S&P 500 rebound by the end of 2023.”, Fortune, July 18, 2022

Consumer price inflation – % Annual change – The Financial Times, July 20, 2022

When Will Inflation Subside? – We clearly are seeing the impact of inflation as it increases operating costs across supply and labor inputs in 2022. Is there relief coming from this profit-eroding upward pressure? What should we expect next year?”, Darrell Johnson, FRANdata, Franchising.com, July 22, 2022

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

AirlineRatings picks best carriers in the world – 1. Qatar Airways. 2. Air New Zealand, 3. Etihad Airways. 4. Korean Air, 5. Singapore Airlines, 6. Qantas, 7. Virgin Australia, 8. EVA Air, 9. Turkish Airlines, 10. All Nippon Airways, 11. Cathay Pacific Airways, 12. Virgin Atlantic, 13. Japan Air Lines, 14. JetBlue, 15. Finnair, 16. Emirates, 17. Hawaiian Airlines, 18. Air France/ KLM, 19. Alaska Airlines and 20. British Airways”, NZ Herald, July 13, 2022

Singapore Hotel Room Rates Hit Six-Year High as Tourism Recovers – Singapore in April became one of the first major regional economies to announce it would end all testing for incoming vaccinated travelers as the government furthered efforts for living with Covid-19. A revival of conferences and major events have also attracted visitors, and STB data showed a nearly 12-fold increase in arrivals in the first half of 2022 compared with the same period a year ago.”, Bloomberg, July 23, 2022

Toronto Airport Is World’s Worst For Delays Amid Current Travel Chaos – Pearson International has won top honors for airport service for years, but now is at the epicenter of a global air-travel meltdown. Over 53% of flights departing Toronto Pearson between June 1 and July 18 arrived late at their destinations, according to flight-data specialist FlightAware. That was the highest rate among the world’s top 100 airports by number of flights.”, Wall Street Journal, July 24, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

Africa

African startups are raising unprecedented amounts. What next? The continent is the only region in the world not suffering from a slowdown in venture capital. Last year 604 African startups raised a total of $5.2bn, according to the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (avca), an industry group. This was more than the total invested in the seven preceding years. Five of Africa’s seven “unicorns” (startups valued at more than $1bn) won their horns last year. American investors led the charge, with 357 involved in deals last year, compared with 268 in total in 2014-20.”, The Economist, July 21, 2022

Australia

“Australia’s near-record low unemployment stokes staffing crisis – Labor government discusses work visas with Pacific Island leaders to alleviate worker shortage. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.5 per cent in June, lower than the 3.8 per cent predicted by economists. In 1974, the jobless rate fell to 2.7 per cent. Data released on Thursday revealed that 88,000 more people were employed in June from the previous month and that the workforce participation rate hit an all-time high of 66.8 per cent.”, The Financial Times, July 13, 2022

Gig economy: Workers and customers are exiting the sector. How can we make it better? The gig economy is in trouble. Rideshare drivers are cancelling in droves. Wait times for food delivery are ballooning out and driver shortages are leading to food waste.”, Smart Company Australia, July 14, 2022

China

Foreign enterprises in China a decade of opportunities and transformation – In January 1999, Starbucks entered the Chinese mainland market by opening its first store in the China World Trade Center, Beijing’s most popular commercial center. But with a latte priced at around 20 yuan (about $2.4 back then) and the average monthly salary of Beijing residents just surpassing 1,000 yuan, coffee was a niche market at that time. It took several years for the U.S. coffee chain to get traction in the Chinese market. Since 2010, China has risen to become the largest overseas market for Starbucks. Over the past decade, the number of Starbucks stores jumped by about 9 times to over 5,700 across the country.”, Beijing Review, July 22, 2022. This important analysis was provided by Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

China’s population expected to start to shrink before 2025 – China is battling to reverse a rapid shrinkage in natural population growth as many young people opt not to have children due to factors including the high cost and work pressure. A change in China’s laws last year to allow women to have three children has not helped, with many women saying the change comes too late and they have insufficient job security and gender equality.”, Reuters, July 24, 2022

Egypt

Egypt’s booming startup scene is becoming the gateway to MENA – In the last few years, Egypt’s startup ecosystem has become one of the most vibrant on the continent, presenting rapid growth potential for the near future. According to a recent report by Startup Genome, Cairo, the country’s bustling capital, marked an overall increase of 60% in VC funding rounds over the past five years, and in 2021, saw a 156% increase in total VC funding rounds compared to 2020.”, The Next Web, July 25, 2022

Japan

Japan Leaves Weak Yen Alone Despite Above-Target Inflation – Central bank sees core prices rising 2.3% this fiscal year as Japanese currency stands near 24-year low. The BOJ’s low interest rates have fueled the yen’s fall against the dollar. Last week, a dollar bought more than ¥139, the weakest level for the Japanese currency since 1998. On Thursday afternoon, the dollar was changing hands at ¥138.55.”, The Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2022

Ukraine

First Ukraine Black Sea grain shipments could move in days – The agreement aims to allow safe passage for grain shipments in and out of Ukrainian ports, blockaded by Russia since its Feb. 24 invasion. Russia has blamed Ukraine for stalling shipments by mining the port waters. Russia and Ukraine are major global wheat suppliers, and Moscow’s invasion sent food prices soaring, stoking a global food crisis the World Food Programme says has pushed some 47 million people into ‘acute hunger’.”, Reuters, July 25, 2022

United Kingdom

Aldi Staff Get Another Pay Rise as Brits Shift to Discounters – Aldi is giving its UK staff a pay rise for the second time this year as the German discount supermarket attracts more shoppers seeking to cope with the higher cost of living.”, Bloomberg, July 25, 2022

Five Guys (UK) franchisee launches on-demand pay – Five Guys franchisee Life’s Food has introduced on-demand pay for its more than 200 employees, based across 23 locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Through a partnership with on-demand salary provider DailyPay, Five Guys staff in Life’s Food-run locations have been given the option to access their pay immediately after finishing a shift, in a bid to provide greater flexibility and help staff manage their finances.”, Employee Benefits UK, July 22, 2022

Starbucks explores UK business sale – Starbucks has been in the UK since 1998 and has about 1,000 outlets, of which about 70% are franchises while the remainder are owned by the firm. The company is also facing increased competition in the UK from rival coffee chains including Costa, Pret A Manger and Tim Hortons., The BBC, July 18, 2022

United States

Survey Finds Majority of Companies Plan to Continue Hiring Despite Recession Worries – With the possibility of a recession on the horizon, 57% of American companies said they still plan to forge ahead with hiring, according to a new survey from The Harris Poll……more than half (51%) of U.S. companies think the next recession will happen within the next year. If a recession were to occur soon, more than 2 in 5 businesses (44%) feel their company won’t survive much longer. Nevertheless, companies don’t appear poised to pump the brakes on hiring like in previous recessions. 30% will continue hiring but cut back on the volume of workers, while 27% anticipate extending offers as planned.”, Franchising.com. July 22, 2022

U.S. Trade Gap Narrowed in May as Imports of Goods Slowed – American companies, meanwhile, exported more oil and natural gas as the Ukraine crisis deepened. The U.S. trade deficit narrowed for the second consecutive month in May as imports were held down by lower goods spending by American households and exports jumped on energy shipments. The trade gap in goods and services shrank 1.3% in May from the previous month to $85.5 billion, the Commerce Department said Thursday, down from April’s revised $86.7 billion.”, Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2022

The Top U.S. Exports by State – The U.S. exported over $1.3 trillion in goods in 2020, the second-highest amount worldwide. While refined petroleum was the top export overall at $58.4 billion, aircraft exports were actually the highest across 14 states—more than any other form of export. This infographic from OnDeck shows America’s top exports by state, using January 2022 data from the U.S. Census Bureau.” Visual Capitalist, July 19, 2022

Brand News

The Habit Burger’s 2,000-Unit Journey Takes Shape – On the fifth page of its franchise brochure, The Habit Burger Grill quickly lets prospective operators know what type of track it’s on—more than 2,000 locations in the U.S. As it stands now, the fast casual has 330-unit restaurants in more than a dozen states. The long-term growth objective is steep, but John Phillips, chief global brand partnerships officer, has little doubt in The Habit Burger’s aims.”, QSR Magazine, July 18, 2022

Subway is Ready to Crack its International Growth Potential – Among three biggest restaurant players in the U.S. in terms of footprint—Subway, McDonald’s, and Starbucks—the sandwich chain is the only one with a bigger domestic footprint than international. The brand believes there’s potential to double its international footprint. Subway has more than 37,000 stores worldwide, including roughly 21,000 in the U.S.”, QSR Magazine, July 15, 2022

Tim Hortons first drive-thru-only stores will open later this summer! The unit will be just 900 square feet and will feature a mobile pickup shelf along with mobile order parking spots. This is a great model for the brand as they aim to maximize efficiency’s and cut costs while not compromising the guest experience.” LinkedIn, June 2022

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

A Lifetime’s Consumption of Fossil Fuels, Visualized – From burning natural gas to heat our homes to the petroleum-based materials found in everyday products like pharmaceuticals and plastics, we all consume fossil fuels in one form or another. In 2021, the world consumed nearly 490 exajoules of fossil fuels, an unfathomable figure of epic proportions. To put fossil fuel consumption into perspective on a more individual basis, this graphic visualizes the average person’s fossil fuel use over a lifetime of 80 years using data from the National Mining Association and Worldometer.”, Visual Capitalist, July 22, 2022

13 Styles Of Fried Chicken Around The Globe – Across the globe, unique styles of fried chicken can be found in street corner stalls, fast food takeaways, and family dinner tables. Thankfully, there are home cooks, expat chefs, and even entire restaurant franchises devoted to the crispy poultry sharing both traditional and modern styles of the beloved dish across regions and borders. With so many ways to marinate and season, each country’s signature style of fried chicken has evolved to reflect its distinct history, culture, and tastes.”, Tasting Table, July 25, 2022

The 12 Covenants of Success – True success is developed and built in a multimodal fashion. There is never one sure path to any goal, or one sure path to any climb up the mountain. Success, however, can be built upon following certain covenants or formulas that have been passed down throughout history for us to utilize in our own unique ways. If you follow these covenants, success is sure to follow.”, Entrepreneur, May 19, 2022

To receive this biweekly newsletter, click here : https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

Our biweekly global business update newsletter focuses on what is happening around the world that impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment, economic development and travel. We daily monitor 30+ countries, 40+ international information sources and six business sectors to keep up with what is going on in this ever-changing environment. Our GlobalTeam™ covering 43 countries provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries. 

To sign up for our biweekly newsletter click here: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

William (Bill) Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. He has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East and has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey. Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) provides a complete International solution for companies Going Global. From initial global market research and country prioritization, to developing new international markets, providing in-country operations support and problem solving around the world. EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence. For advice on doing business successfully across 40+ countries, contact Bill Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896. 

www.edwardsglobal.com

Download our latest chart ranking 40+ countries as places to do business at this link:

Our latest GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 60, Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Edited and curated by: William (Bill) Edwards, CFE, CEO of Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS)

I am on a two week business trip to Australia and New Zealand which are fast coming out of two years of pandemic lockdown. This issue we look at where China’s economy is going for the rest of 2022, more foreign brands fully exit Russia, the cost of living around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic impact on global executive sentiment and beating supply chain challenges for food brands. And my favorite airplane – the Airbus 380 – has returned to service. And India will surpass China’s population next year.

To receive this biweekly newsletter, click here : https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

Change something by even the smallest percentage and your outcomes will be different.”, Elaine Harrison

“Adapting does not mean permanent changes, it just means making small, quick adjustments.” Hany Kubba, The Teaching Blueprint

“Disruption is the new order. The only constant is change.”, Rob Moore

Highlights in issue #60:

  • Brand Global News Section: Checkers & Rallys®, Dominos®, Holiday Inns®, KFC®, McDonalds®, PoolWerx®, Restaurant Brands, Starbucks®, YUM Brands,

NOTE: Bolded headlines are live links to published articles where the article is freely available

Interesting Data and Studies

The coronavirus effect on global economic sentiment – Just one quarter after geopolitical conflicts and instability overtook the COVID-19 pandemic as the leading risk to economic growth, (global executive) survey respondents’ concerns over inflation now exceed their worries about the effects of geopolitical issues on their countries’ economies. In the latest McKinsey Global Survey on economic conditions, respondents most often cite inflation as a risk over the next year.”, McKinsey & Co., June 29, 2022

Global Supply Chain, Energy, Commodities, Inflation & Trade Issues

“Europe is preparing for Russian gas to be cut off this winter – An EU-wide plan is needed to cope. Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled gas goliath, has been squeezing the Europeans for months. s&p Global, a research firm, reckons that in June Russia piped just 4.7bn cubic metres (bcm) to Europe, barely a third of the level in early 2021. Now Russia is squeezing even harder. On June 16th it slashed exports via ns1 to 40% of capacity, citing technical snags. On the morning of July 11th Russia shut down all gas exports via ns1 for about ten days of maintenance.”, The Economist, July 11, 2022

There’s a massive pile-up of car, furniture exports bound for U.S. and it’s spreading across European ports Labor slowdowns and strikes at the German and Netherland ports are creating a massive pile-up of export containers bound for the U.S. that will take months to clear out. “U.S. importers need to look four to five weeks in advance to see if there is a vessel available,” said Andreas Braun, Europe, Middle East, and Africa ocean product director of Crane Worldwide Logistics. “This is not normal. Also, if you are lucky to book a slot on a vessel you then have to locate an empty container which can be in the hinterland.”, CNBC, July 1, 2022

How inflation is flipping the economic script – The liftoff in fertilizer prices, along with other fallout from the war in Ukraine, has pushed prices for basic foods much higher. Since 2021, food prices have risen to their highest level since the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Office began its index. And the war in Ukraine has lifted food prices to an entirely new level.”, McKinsey & Co., July 6, 2022

How to fight supply chain issues in food service – When asked what issues plague operators the most, among the answers are supply chain disruptions, which affect suppliers and distributors, too, said Brian Warrener, an associate professor at Johnson and Wales University, at the National Restaurant Association in May. Warrener teaches food & beverage hospitality and management. Warrener said that food costs are up 13%, industry wages are up 11% and industry prices are up 8%. When it comes to food costs, beef is up 23%, eggs 31%, chicken 27% and cooking oil 44%.  He said 96% of operators report delays in the supply chains.”, QSRweb.com, June 29, 2022

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

Three British bosses plot a ‘golden age of air travel’ in the Gulf – The chief executives of Emirates, Etihad and Dubai airport have different plans for luring passengers, going green — and making money. These three British chief executives handle more long-haul international passengers than the bosses of any other airlines or airports. As rival operators, notably British Airways and Heathrow and Manchester airports struggle to cope with rising demand, they want to cash in and “create a new golden age of travel,” as Griffiths puts it.”, The Sunday Times of London, July 10, 2022

Swiss travel retailer Dufry to acquire Italy’s Autogrill – Duty-free retailer Dufry said on Monday it would acquire Italian airport and motorway caterer Autogrill expanding the Swiss company’s growth opportunities in international markets as travel rebounds. Basel-based Dufry operates around 2,200 shops at airports, cruise liners, seaports and other tourist locations worldwide. Autogrill runs bars, cafes and restaurants at 139 airports internationally, including 80 in North America, as well as on motorways in Europe. Dufry said the combined company will cater to 2.3 billion passengers in more than 75 countries….”, Reuters, July 11, 2022

A380 Superjumbo Makes Return as Travel Demand Skyrockets – Qantas, who parked all 12 of its A380s in the California desert, said when the pandemic began that it wouldn’t need any of them for at least three years and now, just over two years later, the carrier says it will begin to return to service. British Airways has already begun to fly the A380 again and plans to ramp up service over the coming months. Asiana Airlines announced it would bring back its A380s within a month and Lufthansa announced on Monday that its A380s would make a return to service in 2023.”, AirlineGeeks, June 28, 2022

Flying will become more expensive for passengers’, warns former British Airways boss – Flying will become more expensive because of soaring oil prices, the former head of British Airways has warned. Willie Walsh, the former chief executive of the airline, also said passengers are set to face problems at UK airports as they try to go away this summer…..The aviation industry is suffering major disruption as a surge in demand for travel coincides with staff shortages across roles such as airline crew, ground handlers, airport security staff and air traffic controllers.”, Yahoo! News, July 11, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

Canada

Canada’s unemployment rate fell to record low in June, despite losing 43,000 jobs – Financial analysts were expecting a gain of 22,500 positions. The job losses were concentrated among the self-employed and those 55 and older. Hiring conditions remain challenging in Canada, and at last count employers were recruiting for about one million positions – far higher than job-vacancy levels before the pandemic.”, The Globe and Mail, July 8, 2022

China

Where Analysts Think China’s Economy Is Going This Year – In late May, policymakers rolled out a stimulus package containing 33 measures, including tax and fee cuts, favorable loans for certain sectors and accelerated local government bond issuances for infrastructure investment…..It’s possible that there will be further regional outbreaks and lockdowns due to the harder-to-contain omicron variant, while low confidence is likely to be more persistent, they said.”, Caixing Global, June 24, 2022

Record 274 Companies Apply for IPOs in Last Week of June – A record number of companies are rushing to submit applications for initial public offerings (IPOs) on China’s A-share market even as a rising number of others are withdrawing flotation plans. In the last week of June, 247 companies submitted IPO applications, the highest weekly number on record. A total of 921 companies are in line to raise money by selling shares on the Shanghai, Shenzhen and Beijing stock exchanges.”, Caixing Global, July 7, 2022

Coffee is fragrant again about 800 Starbucks Shanghai stores resume dine in – On June 29, 2022, the first day that Shanghai opened its dine-in restaurants in an orderly manner, the long-awaited coffee shop also opened its doors to welcome guests. On the same day, about 800 Starbucks Shanghai stores took the lead in fully resuming dine-in.”, Yical, June 29, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

Germany

The German Trade Deficit Is No Cause for Alarm – Germans have long placed too much emphasis on the importance of a surplus to their country’s prosperity. In May, for the first time in more than three decades, Germany’s storied trade surplus disappeared. Not only is imported natural gas more expensive, but demand in China is falling — neither of which is good news for Germany. Nevertheless, the fallout will be more manageable than many people expect, the Germans included.”, Bloomberg, July 7, 2022

Greece

Greek Tourism Boom Means Growth May Top 3.2%, Stournaras Says – The Greek economy may grow more than expected as tourists return to the country in greater numbers, according to the central bank chief. The country also is in a better situation than some of its euro-area peers in regard to the threat of Russia cutting off energy deliveries. Greece will likely avoid a recession should shipments halt completely, Stournaras said.”, Bloomberg, July 10, 2022

India

India to Surpass China as Most-Populous Nation in 2023 – UN had previously estimated India to cross milestone by 2027 Report pegs global population growth at 8.5 billion by 2030. The UN expects global population to hit 8 billion on Nov. 15 and grow to 8.5 billion by 2030. More than half the projected rise between now and 2050 is expected to be in just eight countries: Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tanzania….”, Bloomberg, July 12, 2022

Japan

Why most overseas visitors to Japan are on business trips, with the country opening up cautiously. Japan is allowing in overseas visitors on official tour groups, but most arrivals are there on business trips and fitting in some sightseeing. Some of these ‘bleisure’ travellers said they had no problem getting into Japan, while others complained of having to jump through too many hoops.”, South China Morning Post, July 11, 2022

Russia

Russians served mouldy burgers in McDonald’s replacement restaurants – Now diners at the new Vkusno & Tochka outlets (translated from Russian as “tasty and that’s it”) posted photos of their food on social media, New York Post reports. The disturbing images show mould on the hamburger buns. Other customers have reported finding insect legs in the meat patties, according to the Daily Mail.”, News.com.au, July 6, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Publisher & Editor, Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

McDonald’s simplifies franchising policies to attract more diverse candidates – Starting in 2023, the fast-food giant will evaluate every potential new operator equally. In the past, the spouses and children of current franchisees have been given preferential treatment. The company recently came under pressure for a plan to roll out a new grading system early next year that rankled some franchisees, who have concerns about potentially alienating workers.”, CNBC, June 23, 2022

Starbucks found a buyer for the Russian business – Restaurateur Anton Pinsky will most likely become the new owner of the chain. The deal can be closed as early as the 20th of July, it will include lease rights to all areas of Starbucks coffee shops with renovation (but without the possibility of using Starbucks products and technologies), as well as premises in the Pushkino Park shopping center, which is located at the company owned, say the interlocutors of Vedomosti. The new owner of the network will also have to rebrand it, as happened with McDonald’s earlier (renamed to “Tasty – and that’s it!”)…”, Vedomosti, July 7, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

Fast Food Giant Yum Brands Announces Plans to Leave Russia With KFC SaleOne of the world’s largest restaurant companies, Yum Brands Inc, announced Tuesday it is “in advanced talks” to sell its KFC restaurants and franchise in Russia. The American company plans to fully exit the Russian market after selling the brand to a local buyer, state-run news agency Interfax reported.  The company has already sold its Pizza Hut business to a Russian company Noi-M.”, The Moscow Times, July 5, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

IHG Hotels and Resorts To Cease All Operations in Russia – On April 8, the company shared it was in discussions with the owners of its 28 IHG-branded hotels in Russia “regarding the complex, long-term management and franchise contracts under which these hotels operate,” according to the statement. The InterContinental Moscow – Tverskaya opened in 2011 and is the company’s highest-profile branded hotel in the country. Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels are prevalent across the country, and a Staybridge Suites and a Hotel Indigo round out the company’s portfolio there.”, Hotel News Now / Costar, June 27, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

Singapore

Singapore’s Sky-High Car Prices Are Warning for Global Cities – City-state’s taxes have pushed car prices to as much as a flat Government restricts sales to prevent congestion, pollution. Singapore media professional Ellie Lim gave up her plan to buy a new Volvo SUV to ferry her newborn baby when she realized it was going to cost her more than S$200,000 ($142,000). ‘I was quite shocked,’ said Lim, 34. Coupled with high interest rates on car loans, fuel prices and maintenance fees, buying a new car is ‘a financially unsound decision,’ she said.”, Bloomberg, July 6, 2022

Turkey

Turkey hit with soaring prices as inflation nears 80% – Growth in annual prices rose from 73.5% in May to 78.6% in June, but real rate could be double official figure. The growth in annual prices rose from 73.5% in May to 78.6% in June, according to the Turkish statistics agency. However, opposition parties and economists said recent hikes in oil and gas prices meant the real rate of inflation was almost double the official figure.”, The Guardian, July 4, 2022

United Kingdom

UK Tax Cuts Feature at Heart of Race to Replace Johnson – The contest to succeed Boris Johnson as UK prime minister is likely to become a battle over hand-outs for households, with limited interest in fiscal restraint. Tax cuts and aid for families struggling with a surge in the cost of living are already at the heart of the political debate, and pressures for largess from the Treasury will only increase during the next few weeks. By September, when the ruling Conservative Party aims to install a new leader, the government is likely to face strike threats from public sector workers demanding higher pay.”, Bloomberg, July 10, 2022

United States

Supply Chain Taking Toll on US BusinessMore than a third of US retailers are just two months away from running out of cash, according to a new survey from Brightpearl. There’s more. The study of 500 retailers also found 80 percent have been hit with supply problems in the last year; 52 percent have experienced stockouts, resulting in a loss of sales; and the supply crisis has added 23 percent to retailers’ costs over the last year, with 51% saying they have increased prices as a result.”, Franchising.com, July 2022

Workers in America’s biggest cities are defying their bosses and avoiding the office – In-office visits in San Francisco, New York City, and Chicago still aren’t as frequent as they were before the pandemic, according to new research from locational analysis software Placer.ai that analyzed foot traffic data in nearly 200 office buildings in all three cities. If any trend has emerged from the Great Resignation and the past two years of remote work, it’s that white-collar employees generally like workplace flexibility. What they don’t like as much—the office. Research from McKinsey & Co. found that 58% of Americans have the option to work remotely at least one day a week.”, Fortune, July 2, 2022

A Small Business Hiring Surge – Owners fear recession but are still adding workers. The owners of small U.S. firms went on a hiring binge last month and continue to raise compensation to attract and retain scarce workers. That’s according to the latest monthly employment survey from the National Federation of Independent Business, due out later today. What makes this strong desire to hire especially odd is that it is occurring  even as the owners of small firms are more pessimistic about future business conditions than they’ve been in at least 48 years, according to NFIB.”, The Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2022

Brand News

Checkers & Rally’s Taking a Big Bite Out of Franchise Fees and Royalties – In 2022, the brand is offering incentives of as little as 2% royalties for the first year for franchisees opening one or two restaurants on schedule, to 0 percent royalties for franchisees who open three restaurants on schedule and within a set time period. Beyond those enticing incentives, there is also a reduction in franchise fees for veterans and women entrepreneurs interested in franchising with the Tampa, Florida-based brand.”,  Franchising.com, July 2022

Domino’s (Australia) adds pizza delivery charges as costs bite fast food sector – Pizza chain Domino’s has introduced a 6 percent delivery fee for online orders as rising food and fuel costs begin to bite across Australia’s fast food industry. The ASX-listed pizza maker told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age it had introduced the fee to cover the increasing costs of doing business.”, Brisbane Times, July 5, 2022

Global investment firm Norwest invests in Poolwerx pool and spa franchise network – US-based global venture and growth equity investment firm Norwest has invested a substantial amount in Poolwerx to support the franchisor’s plans for ambitious growth. Poolwerx founder and CEO John O’Brien says the investment will bring additional expertise and opportunities to enable Poolwerx to grow bigger and faster in Australia, New Zealand and the US.”, Splash Magazine (Australia), July 7, 2022

Restaurant Brands International – Second Quarter Results Likely To Beat Expectations On Strong Business Momentum. The opening up of Canada and the firm’s international markets was possibly a continued predominant tailwind for sales. Digital, delivery, and increased dine-in sales which drove upside over the first quarter, probably delivered during the second quarter as well. Burger King U.S. likely continued to recapture market share due to turnaround efforts.”, Seeking Alpha, June 30, 2022

Yum Brands is completely exiting Russia – After Yum completes the transfer of ownership of all KFC restaurants in Russia to a local operator, the process of exiting the contentious country will be complete.”, Nation’s Restaurant News, July 5, 2022

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

Comparing the Cost of Living Around the World – The amount of money that’s needed to pay for day-to-day expenses like housing and food varies greatly from city to city. And some cities, like New York City, are known as especially expensive places to live. This graphic by Victor Dépré (hypntic.data) uses 2022 data from Numbeo to compare the cost of living and purchasing power in 578 different cities around the world, using New York City as a benchmark for comparison.”, Visual Capitalist / Numbeo, July 8, 2022 NOTE: The graphic at the link is interactive for the 578 cities.

To receive this biweekly newsletter, click here : https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

Our Mission, Information Sources & Who We Are

Our biweekly global business update newsletter focuses on what is happening around the world that impacts new trends, health, consumer spending, business investment, economic development and travel. We daily monitor 30+ countries, 40+ international information sources and six business sectors to keep up with what is going on in this ever-changing environment. Our GlobalTeam™ covering 43 countries provides us with updates about what is happening in their specific countries. 

To sign up for our biweekly newsletter click here: https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

William (Bill) Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. He has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East and has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey. Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) provides a complete International solution for companies Going Global. From initial global market research and country prioritization, to developing new international markets, providing in-country operations support and problem solving around the world. EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence. For advice on doing business successfully across 40+ countries, contact Bill Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896. 

www.edwardsglobal.com

Download our latest chart ranking 40+ countries as places to do business at this link:

Our latest GlobalVue™ 40 country ranking


EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 59, Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Edited and curated by: William (Bill) Edwards, CFE, CEO of Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS)

How interest rate hikes around the world tie to inflation rates. Asia Pacific air travel begins to recover. How the pandemic impacted the rule of law worldwide. Lego’s® to be made once again in the USA. The top wheat, corn and sunflower oil exporters. And breaking down the world’s population by age group.

To receive this biweekly newsletter, click here : https://bit.ly/geowizardsignup

First, A Few Words of Wisdom From Others

“Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.”, Rita Mae Brown

“Experience is the teacher of all things.”, Julius Caesar

“The only source of knowledge is experience.”, Albert Einstein

Highlights in issue #59:

  • Brand Global News Section: Lego’s®, Little Caesar’s®, McDonald’s®, Pizza Hut®, Popeyes®, Wendy’s® and Wingstop®

Interesting Data and Studies

“The pandemic has accelerated a global decline in the rule of law – But it has also brought some needed change to the way justice is administered. Compiled by the World Justice Project (wjp), a Washington-based charity, the Rule of Law index, published annually since 2009 and now covering 140 countries, draws on tens of thousands of responses from households, legal practitioners and experts. It asks about people’s experience of the justice systems in their countries, and produces scores based on factors such as the constraints on government power, corruption, regulatory implementation, order and security, and the enforcement of civil and criminal law.”, The Economist, June 7, 2022

Global Energy & Commodities

The Global Economy: Commodities Crisis – The war in Ukraine is exacerbating pre- existing problems with global grain supplies and prices. Although higher prices will be felt by all, North African and Middle Eastern countries along the Mediterranean will be more directly and severely affected. Sudden spikes in food prices are directly linked to increased social unrest and conflict. Further, instability in this region could put fertilizer supplies at risk, which would put only more upward pressure on food prices.”, Geopolitical Futures, June 2022

Global Supply Chain, Commodities, Inflation & Trade Update

2022 Third-Quarter Forecast – During the third quarter of 2022, the combination of high energy and food prices, supply chain bottlenecks, geopolitical uncertainty and the tightening of monetary policy by central banks will slow economic activity in most parts of the world. While the drivers of slowing growth will be similar, the consequences will change from region to region.” Stratfor Worldview, June 27, 2022

U.S. Port Backups Are Extending Into Freight Rail Supply Chains – The congestion is raising costs and adding complications for importers managing the flow of goods in a fragile U.S. economy.

Some retailers are waiting weeks to move cargo by train out of Southern California’s ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, while others are giving up on the railroads and shifting shipments of furniture, apparel and other consumer goods to trucks for long inland journeys on highways.” Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2022

Global, Regional & Local Travel Updates

“Pent-up demand for travel is becoming un-pent,’ says Andrew Charlton of Aviation Advocacy, a consultancy.

The number of seats available on European airlines in the week commencing June 6th was only 9% below the same week in 2019. In North America it was just 5.6% down, according to oag, another consultancy…..up to September sales for international routes are at 72% of their level in 2019 and those on domestic ones are at 66%, according to iata, an industry body.”, The London Economist, June 9, 2022

Air New Zealand Relaunches International Routes to Meet Travel Demand – Air New Zealand has announced the recommencement of 14 international routes over a 16-day period in July. According to the New Zealand Herald, the airline will relaunch services from Auckland to destinations such as Tahiti, Honolulu and Houston that have not seen service for just over 800 days.” , Air Geeks, June 24, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

Australia

Minimum wage increase: Bosses slam Fair Work Commission’s pay boost – On Wednesday morning, the Fair Work Commission announced the national minimum wage would rise by 5.2 per cent to $21.38 per hour or $812.60 per week, representing an increase of $40 per week. Modern award minimum rates will also go up 4.6 per cent “subject to a minimum increase of $40 per week”, and both increases will come into effect from July 1 for most workers.”, News.com.au, June 16, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Managing Director, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

China

China’s Record High Youth Unemployment Rate – China’s youth unemployment rate in urban areas in May was the highest since records began in 2018 as Covid-19 lockdowns restricted mobility and weighed on the labor market, with the government warning the situation could get worse as millions of fresh graduates start looking for work. The surveyed urban unemployment rate among workers aged 16 to 24 — which captures graduates from high school and college — climbed to 18.4% in May from 18.2% in April….”, Caixing Global, June 15, 2022

Germany

Another strike at major German ports as pay negotiations break down again – As the RMT union leads UK rail workers in their second day of walkouts, new industrial action is also under way at German ports. Negotiations in Bremen between German trade union ver.di and the Central Association of German Seaport Companies (ZDS) broke down yesterday. Beginning at 6am, the strikes are affecting the ports of Bremerhaven, Hamburg and Wilhelmshaven – road, rail and sea cargo, Maersk said – and run until 6am tomorrow.”, The Loadstar, June 23, 2022. Compliments of Vince Iacopella, EVP Growth and Strategy, Alba Wheels Up International Inc.

Spain

Amazon to add 2,000 jobs to its Spanish payroll in 2022 – U.S. online retailer plans to add 2,000 new jobs to its Spanish payroll in 2022, the company’s local unit said on Thursday, a move that will take the total number of employees in Spain to 20,000 by the end of the year. The new hirings include more than 500 jobs within high-demand sectors such as engineering, software development, data science and machine learning….”, Reuters, June 23, 2022

United Kingdom

Interest rates set to rise to 1.25% as Bank tries to curb inflation – Interest rates will rise today for the fifth time in a row to 1.25 per cent amid calls for Boris Johnson to level with the public about the cost of living crisis. The Bank of England is expected to increase rates by 0.25 percentage points from what was already a 13-year high as it seeks to rein in inflation. The Federal Reserve, America’s central bank, went further yesterday, increasing interest rates by 0.75 percentage points, the sharpest rise since 1994.”, The Times of London, June 15, 2022

United States

Lego Brings Manufacturing Back To The U.S., 15 Years After Pulling Plug – The Denmark-based toy company, which makes the colorful plastic building blocks that kids have played with for nine decades, said on Wednesday that it plans to invest more than $1 billion in a new manufacturing plant in Virginia. The move will allow it to shorten the distance that its products have to travel to reach the U.S., one of its biggest markets, it said, and thereby avoid the global supply chain chaos that has resulted in major delays and increased costs during the pandemic.”, Forbes, June 15, 2022

Brand News

This National Pizza Chain Just Announced Plans to Open 1,000 New LocationsIn the mood for some pizza? Little Caesars is counting on it and making moves that will ensure every corner of the country has access to their hot-n-ready pies. The majority of Little Caesars franchises currently dominate the New York, New England, and Hawaii markets—but the brand recently expanded internationally in Russia, Spain, Columbia, and Barbados. It’s looking to also open more in Brazil, France, the Philippines, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates.”, Eat This, Not That, June 23, 2022

The former McDonald s opened under the new brand Vkusno  and that’s it – Big Mac and McFlurry will disappear from the menu, and prices will be higher. The first 15 restaurants of the former fast food chain McDonald’s opened last weekend under the new brand “Tasty – and that’s it.” By the end of the month, the number of open restaurants will increase to 200. The American corporation, which managed 718 restaurants in 45 regions, sold the Russian business at a significant discount, reserving the opportunity to buy it back within 15 years, the new owner of the chain, Alexander Govor, told Vedomosti in an interview.”, Vemdoosti.ru, June 13, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto. (English translation available on Google)

Allegro taps bankers to deliver Pizza Hut exit – Allegro Funds’ turnaround at Pizza Hut Australia looks just about complete, with the private equity firm preparing to hang up the for-sale sign and seek a growth-minded buyer. Six years after taking the reins, and after a lengthy restructure, it is understood Allegro Funds has hired Miles Advisory and had the firm’s dealmakers preparing potential buyers for a confidential auction.”, Australia Financial Review, June 13, 2022. Compliments of Jason Gehrke, Managing Director, The Franchise Advisory Centre, Brisbane

US Fried-Chicken Chain Popeyes Expands in UK With Six New Sites….where its first location has become the brand’s best-performing restaurant globally since it launched last year. Popeyes, owned by Restaurant Brands International Inc., will roll out sites in Nottingham, Gateshead, Oxford, Reading, Brighton and Ealing. It currently runs delivery kitchens around London and a take-away restaurant in east London’s Stratford, now the best-performing of Popeyes’ 3,600 worldwide. The company also opened a sit-in restaurant in Chelmsford over the weekend.”, BBN Bloomberg, June 13, 2022

Wendy’s New Zealand up for sale – The New Zealand arm of the well-known Wendy’s hamburger chain is on the market, including all 22 company-owned stores. Wendy’s NZ, the current master franchisee, owner and operator of all Wendy’s hamburger restaurants throughout New Zealand, is on the market for the first time in 34 years.:”, Franchise New Zealand magazine, June 23, 2022

Wingstop opens its first restaurant in Canada – the company is opening a location this month in Toronto, one of 100 planned for the country as the chicken wing chain pushes international growth more aggressively…..The vast majority of the brand’s 1,800 locations are in the U.S., but a growing number of them are outside the country. Wingstop finished 2021 with just under 200 locations, up by 160% over the past five years, according to Technomic. The brand has found success in Mexico, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.”, Restaurant Business, June 20, 2022

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

Interest Rate Hikes vs. Inflation Rate, by Country – Imagine today’s high inflation like a car speeding down a hill. In order to slow it down, you need to hit the brakes. In this case, the “brakes” are interest rate hikes intended to slow spending. However, some central banks are hitting the brakes faster than others. This graphic uses data from central banks and government websites to show how policy interest rates and inflation rates have changed since the start of the year. It was inspired by a chart created by Macrobond.”, Visual Capitalist, June 24, 2022

Visualizing the World’s Population by Age Group – An aging population can have far-reaching consequences on a country’s economy. With this in mind, today’s graphic looks at the age composition of the global population in 2020, based on the latest figures from the United Nations. Our global population is getting older, largely because of increasing life expectancies and declining birth rates. In 2020, more than 147 million people around the world were between the ages of 80-99, accounting for 1.9% of the global population.”, United Nations, Pew Research Center, June 16, 2022

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William (Bill) Edwards has a four-decade career successfully accelerating the international growth of more than 40 brands. He has directed projects on-site in Alaska, Asia, Europe and the Middle and Near East and has lived in China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Iran and Turkey. Edwards Global Services, Inc. (EGS) provides a complete International solution for companies Going Global. From initial global market research and country prioritization, to developing new international markets, providing in-country operations support and problem solving around the world. EGS has twice received the U.S. President’s Award for Export Excellence. For advice on doing business successfully across 40+ countries, contact Bill Edwards at bedwards@edwardsglobal.com or +1 949 224 3896. 

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