EGS China Update – April 13, 2020
By Bill Edwards, CEO, Edwards Global Services, Inc.
Needless to say, things right now are different than ever before in China.
The following are extracts from a variety of information sources and our network inside China on consumer-focused issues post the Wuhan Event. This is bipartisan and does not reflect a point of view.
“The official urban unemployment rate of 6.2 per cent in February understates the true level of joblessness and doesn’t include China’s 280m migrant worker population, many of whom haven’t returned to work yet. Close to 500,000 small and medium-sized businesses, the heart of the economy, which were sidelined politically before the crisis, are reported to have failed in the first quarter alone., Financial Times, April 10, 2020
Consumers Trends in China
Burger King, Dairy Queen, KFC, McDonalds and Starbucks closed over 7,500 restaurants in China by the end of February. Today, over 90% of these restaurants are back open.
Our company’s Managing Director for Greater China based in China says, “the businesses of China have recovered about 60-90% depending on the region. We are still required to wear face masks everywhere and practice social distancing (which is not common in a densely-populated country). Domestic travel is still difficult because place to place travelers have to be quarantined back and forth. Retail, fitness and F&B businesses will need 3-6 months to return to normal levels as people still prefer to eat at home and order in as they did for more than 40 days in February and March. Schools and universities will not start up again until September for the new school year.
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Bill Edwards, CEO, Edwards Global Services, Inc.
Bill Edwards has been doing business in China for 37 years, starting with living in China from late 1982 through mid 1985. He has been the Master Franchisee for a U.S. franchise in China. EGS opened an office in Beijing in 2014 and we are currently helping four U.S. brands enter the Mainland China market. Our U.S. Clients are all consumer-faced franchise brands.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change”. Darwin