Global Business Development

EGS Biweekly Global Business Newsletter Issue 65, Tuesday, September 20, 2022

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

We say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II. Chinese consumers get frugal, China’s energy imports decline and Starbucks will add 3,000 more stores in China. The war weighs down European Union country economies. And a new study says 90% of franchised businesses in the USA are negatively impacted by inflation.

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

“What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.”, Buddha

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”, Dolly Parton

“Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.”,  Colin Powell

Highlights in issue #65:

  • Brand Global News Section: Hard Rock Café®, KFC®, Nandos®, Starbucks®, Tim Hortons®, TGI Fridays®, Wendy’s®

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

The Passing of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II – The long reign of Queen Elizabeth II was marked by her strong sense of duty and her determination to dedicate her life to her throne and to her people. She became for many the one constant point in a rapidly changing world as British influence declined, society changed beyond recognition and the role of the monarchy itself came into question. Her success in maintaining the monarchy through such turbulent times was even more remarkable given that, at the time of her birth, no-one could have foreseen that the throne would be her destiny.”, BBC News, September 8, 2022

Elizabeth II: an appreciation by Simon Schama – The UK’s longest-serving monarch was so much more than a head of state — she was quintessential Britain. 

Interesting Data and Studies

New International Franchise Association Report Shows Inflation is Negatively Impacting 90% of Franchised Businesses. The most impacted sectors include lodging (90%), quick-services restaurants (83%), and child-related services (61%), which report a substantial increase. 89% of (franchised) units have had to raise their prices of goods and services to absorb cost increases. 64% of respondents reported lower earnings due to rising prices, with quick-service restaurants, retail stores, and the beauty-related industry being the top three industries to feel the impact on their bottom line. The most significant cost increases are driven by rising fuel prices, increases in labor cost and inventory costs. 60% of franchisees expect increases in cost to get worse in near future. 92% of franchisees with 11+ units say growth is constrained by labor issues.”, The International Franchise Association, September 15, 2022

Growth moderates globally in an inflationary environment – High inflation is eroding household budgets, leading to a decline in consumer sentiment and, outside the United States, static or declining retail sales in real terms. Production is flattening under persisting supply chain pressures, high input costs, and softening demand. Investor uncertainty over rising interest rates is roiling financial markets. GDP growth in China was 2.5% in the first half of 2022 but slowed to 0.4% in the second quarter, with output constrained by pandemic restrictions, softer external demand, and the financially troubled real-estate sector. In the eurozone, GDP growth outpaced expectations at 0.6% in the second quarter and 1.1% for the first half.”, McKinsey & Co., September 9, 2022

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

UN FAO’s global food prices fall for fifth month in a row – The index fell to 138 in August and is now lower than it was before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The countries were both major exporters of crops including sunflower oil, corn and wheat. The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation says July’s UN backed deal to re-open Ukrainian ports has eased cereal and vegetable oil prices.”, BBC News, September 2, 2022

Global & Regional Travel Updates

“Singapore opens up to travellers – During the pandemic Singapore’s national carrier, Singapore Airlines, was so short of business that it sold locals dining spots on board a grounded double-decker A380 plane. Between 2019 and 2021 passenger numbers at Changi airport, the main air hub, plunged by 96%. But since the government began loosening border restrictions late last year, tourists have started returning. This summer traffic at Changi reached 50% of pre-pandemic levels.”, The Economist, September 13, 2022

Country & Regional Updates

Asia

Casino Suppliers Quit Macau for Resurgent Singapore, Philippines – Companies move staff, inventory out of city as slump continues. Casino revenue collapses on Covid policies, China crackdown. Suppliers of slot machines, baccarat table systems and other casino equipment are moving out of Macau to more welcoming markets, evidence of the damage China’s Covid Zero policy has wrought on the formerly bustling gambling hub.”, September 5, 2022

Australia

Australia’s Jobless Rate Climbs for First Time in 10 Months – Australian unemployment unexpectedly rose in August, the first increase in 10 months, a result that supports the Reserve Bank’s signal of a potential shift to smaller interest-rate increases. The jobless rate’s rise to 3.5% came even as employment advanced by 33,500, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. That was slightly below economists’ estimates for a 35,000 increase.”, Bloomberg, September 14, 2022

Canada

Prices at Toronto restaurants to soar by up to 15% — as industry deals with ‘anything but normal’ situation. Higher prices are on the menu as inflation drives up operating costs, while industry continues to see closures.  Half of restaurants were operating at a loss or just breaking even as of July 2022 — typically one of the busiest months of the year, the report found. As a result of higher costs, more than a third of full-service restaurant operators plan to raise their prices by more than seven per cent, and many between 10 and 15 per cent.”, Toronto Star, September 15, 2022

China

“China’s Economy Beats Expectations in a Range of Areas – New Chinese data showed better-than-expected results for August in a swath of sectors, all while Covid cases finally began to fall, giving hope of a rebound or at least stabilization in an economy beleaguered all year. Compared with the previous month, improvements were seen in retail sales, industrial production, fixed-asset investment, and unemployment….(Retail) Sales leapt to 5.4% year-on-year, compared to July’s 2.7%, and well above consensus forecast of 3.4%.”, Barron’s, September 16, 2022

Frugal is the new cool for young Chinese as economy falters – Before the pandemic, Doris Fu imagined a different future for herself and her family: new car, bigger apartment, fine dining on weekends and holidays on tropical islands. Instead, the 39-year old Shanghai marketing consultant is one of many Chinese in their 20s and 30s cutting spending and saving cash where they can, rattled by China’s coronavirus lockdowns, high youth unemployment and a faltering property market. This new frugality, amplified by social media influencers touting low-cost lifestyles and sharing money-saving tips, is a threat to the world’s second-largest economy, which narrowly avoided contraction in the second quarter. Consumer spending accounts for more than half of China’s GDP.”, Reuters, September 18, 2022

China’s plunging energy imports confound expectations – A revival would cause problems—and not just for Europe. With the price of fuels surging, the collapse in Chinese purchases of natural gas and other forms of energy has been an unexpected boon to countries around the world.  Arrivals of seaborne liquefied natural gas (lng) have declined most markedly. China remains the largest lng importer in the world but, between January and August, imports dropped by a fifth compared with the same period last year. That shortfall, at roughly 14bn cubic metres, is roughly equivalent to the entire annual lng imports of Britain.”, The Economist, September 15, 2022

European Union

Ukraine War Weighs Down European Economies – The countries closest to the war in Ukraine saw their economies shrink in the second quarter.  Europe is bearing the brunt of the economic war raging between Russia and the West. On the whole, European economies grew in the second quarter of the year, driven by household consumption and government spending. However, the countries closest to the Russia-Ukraine war, such as Poland and the Baltic states, saw their economies shrink for a variety of reasons.”, Geopolitical Futures, September 16, 2022

India

93% Indians Used At Least One Mode Of Digital Payment In Last Year – Digital payments are rising rapidly in the country and more and more Indians are adopting the cashless payment method. According to a survey commissioned by Mastercard, 93% of Indians are likely to have used at least one mode of digital payment in the past year.

Indian consumers are among those who are most open to digital payments methods in the Asia-Pacific region, Mint reported citing the survey. Compared to Indians, only Chinese consumers are more open to digital payments (98%).”, INC42, September 19, 2022

Travel Etiquette: 10 Things to Consider When You Visit India – Saying that India is vast is an understatement. Its population of 1.38 billion ascribes to many different religions and beliefs. People are spread across 28 states and eight union territories; they communicate in hundreds of languages and local dialects and practice diverse cultural norms. The myriad cultural and religious differences, and the contrast between the urban and rural areas, mean there are a lot of dos and don’ts in order to be respectful and considerate of the local people and their customs.”, Fodor’s Travel, September 14, 2022

Italy

Italy’s Draghi presents new aid package – Italy approved an aid package worth some 14 billion euros ($14 billion) on Friday to shield firms and families from surging energy costs,….The latest measures come on top of some 52 billion euros already budgeted since January to soften the energy crisis in Italy. They will be funded by higher value added tax revenues as a result of rising electricity and gas bills and by adjustments elsewhere in the state budget, without resorting to extra borrowing which had been requested by some parties.”, Reuters, September 16, 2022

Switzerland

Swiss to dial down thermostats in government buildings – Swiss bureaucrats will need to dress warmly this winter after the government decided public buildings would be heated to no more than 20 degrees Celsius (68°F) to save energy. The measures agreed by the cabinet on Friday cover federal office buildings and universities and military properties. They aim to save 6-10% of the energy used to heat federal buildings.”, Reuters, September 16, 2022

United Kingdom

Kentucky Fried Crisis: How surging chicken costs hit Nando’s and KFC – The rising cost of chicken is turning customers away, while farmers are leaving their sheds empty. The Office for National Statistics said last week that the price tag for chicken in shops had jumped by 14.9 per cent on average over the past year. The Producer Price Index, which measures the cost of goods for factories, showed that imported chicken and red meat from the EU had shot up 69 per cent. Feed prices for livestock were up 61 per cent, and fresh red meat and poultry was 21 per cent higher.”, The Times of London, August 21, 2022

Pound hits new 37-year low as retail sales slide – The larger-than-expected drop in sales volumes of 1.6% prompted fresh concerns over the state of the economy. Sales across all retail sectors fell in August as households cut back in the face of rising prices. One analyst suggested the figures showed the UK is already in recession. Sterling fell more than 1% against the dollar to $1.1351 at one point, its lowest since 1985, following the release of the retail sales figures. The pound recovered later to climb above $1.14.”, BBC News, September 16, 2022

United States

“Women are reentering the workplace, but employers will have to do more for them to stick around – Last month, U.S. women saw a major gain in labor force participation, with the proportion of women in the workforce between the ages of 25 and 54 finally rising to a pre-pandemic level of almost 75%. But researchers say such celebration is premature if structures aren’t put in place to ensure women stay in the workforce.  Fewer than 30% of women say they feel included in the workplace, according to a recent report from Bain & Company. This poses a major retention risk, considering a lack of belonging is one of the top reasons employees say they’d leave a company.”, Fortune, September 15, 2022

Small business revenue doubles, but profits are flat – Seventy-five percent of U.S. small business owners say they are being impacted by inflationary pressures— prompting them to modify their practices in order to grow, according to a new study……’47% of all small business respondents reported that inflation is impacting their labor market by pushing them to accommodate and compensate for higher health care, enriched employee benefits and more frequent pay raises,’ said Brett Sussman, VP head of sales & marketing for Kabbage from American Express.”, Yahoo! Finance, September 14, 2022

Brand News

Hard Rock CEO makes $100M employee wage investment: We wanted to ‘really thank them’ –  Reporting that the Hard Rock brand “has been doing very well this year,” (Hard Rock International Chairman Jim) Allen announced an initiative Tuesday to thank the company’s line employees with a $100 million investment to raise starting wages for half of its U.S. workforce at company-managed hotel, café and casino locations nationwide.”, Fox Business, September 16, 2022

Starbucks Plans to Add 3 000 Stores in China by 2025 – In the next three years, Starbucks China aims to accelerate its development potential through six growth engines and a series of major investments. By 2025, the total number of Starbucks stores in China is targeted to reach 9,000, while the number of employees will increase by 35,000, totaling more than 95,000.”, Pan Daily, September 14, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

Starbucks (USA) to revamp stores to speed service, boost morale – The company also said it plans to open 2,000 net new stores in the U.S. by 2025, with an emphasis on meeting the growing demand for new types of service, including drive-thru, mobile ordering and delivery. Starbucks — ringing up record sales but struggling with low employee morale — plans to spend $450 million next year to make its North American stores more efficient and less complex.”, Chicago Sun Times, September 16, 2022

TGI Fridays signs historic deal to expand chain to South and Southeast Asia – The development agreement is for 75 new restaurants over the next 10 years. The casual restaurant company said Friday that it expects the 10-year deal with Singapore-based Universal Success Enterprises Ltd. to boost its annual revenue by $500 million.”, Dallas Morning News, September 16, 2022

Cartesian Capital Pushes Massive Growth of Tim Hortons China – Zero to 450. Less than four years after opening its first store in Shanghai, Tim Hortons China crossed the 450-unit mark this summer with plans to continue its dizzying development push on the way to 2,750 stores by 2026. It’s a pace necessary to compete in a consumer market that Peter Yu, chairman of Tim Hortons China, called the most compelling in the world.”, Franchise Times, August 29, 2022. Compliments of Paul Jones, Jones & Co., Toronto

US burger chain Wendy’s is coming to Australia – The US Wendy’s burgers brand is heading to Australia and is on the hunt for a master franchisee. The iconic brand is reportedly the world’s third largest quick service restaurant burger chain, with about 7000 outlets worldwide….Now the chain is readying to hit the market Down Under, with consultancy firm DC Strategy tasked with recruiting master franchisees.”, Smart Company AU, September 15, 2022

Articles & Studies For Today And Tomorrow

Franchising Isn’t for Entrepreneurs, It’s for Systempreneurs – First determine if you can follow a system, then find the right system for you. The franchise model leverages a system and business approach to help entrepreneurs start and run their own businesses. But a franchisee is really more of a systempreneur than an entrepreneur. True entrepreneurs invent a business from scratch and develop everything from the ground up. Systempreneurs use leverage of all types — debt, an existing operating system, best practices and information — to build their business.”, Entrepreneur Magazine, September 12, 2022

These are the top 10 healthiest countries for digital nomads – Lemon.io, a marketplace of software developers, analyzed data from the 2022 Global Health Security Index by the Economist Intelligence Unit to determine the healthiest countries for digital nomads. The study ranked 195 countries based on their preparedness for epidemics and pandemics.”, CNBC, September 18, 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 40 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 worldwide. 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

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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

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 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

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 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


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