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REWIND: International Business News #13

Posted on January 25th, 2011 | Author: admin

  • The Chinese President Hu Jintao met with the U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. business executives this week to discuss  trade between the countries among other things.  Meanwhile, YUM! Brands, Inc. (Louisville, Kentucky) has already set a high benchmark for U.S. businesses expanding in China with tremendous growth and success. YUM! Brands, owner of KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell, has experienced unprecedented growth in China, boasting figures 20 percent (%) higher than previous years.  The glocalization concept, thinking globally and acting locally, has been crucial in its global strategy.  The corporation has adapted its worldwide chains to meet the preferences and tastes of local customers. By focusing on customer needs, YUM! has avoided barriers faced by its competitors politically, culturally and geographically.
  • Tension is high among employers in New Jersey as they await the seminal decision of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in Newark, New Jersey, this week. The case in question, White v. Starbucks may have widespread effects for employers under the New Jersey, Conscientious Employer Protection Act (CEPA / The Whistleblowers Act). Previously, the case was dismissed on the grounds the plaintiff’s claim was within her sphere of work and therefore not protected under CEPA.  As feared, the upcoming decision could open the floodgates for civil action arising out of trivial employee complaints brought under the CEPA.
  • Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Bentonville, Arkansas) recent take-over of Mass-Mart Holdings, Ltd. (Johannesburg, S. Africa) has spurred tension among local unions, who are hugely influential in the country. The take-over has erupted S. Africa’s labor federation, COSATU, which is currently threatening a boycott against the American corporation. To keep the parties at peace, Wal-Mart has indicated it will make an effort to keep the S. African management in their existing positions.
  • The National Retail Federation and audit firm at KMPG, LLP (headquartered in Amstelveen, Netherlands) has announced retail store owners are confident this year will see an improvement in business growth. With retailers looking to expand and improve in 2011, the widespread lackluster growth of the past two years may finally see an end. Focus areas include; mobile e-commerce, consumer research gathering data, customer service and cost contamination. In addition, the use of the Twitter network for advertising has substantially increased.
  • One of the world’s largest music companies Warner Music Group (New York) has hired Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (New York) to oversee the buyout of the group, looking to media companies and financial investors. However, it has been rumored the Music Group may end up only selling part of the company at this particular time. Simultaneously, a separate division of Sachs is responsible for Warner’s potential buyout of music company Electric & Musical Industries, Ltd (EMI Group) (London).
  • Lastly, the nouveaux riches in India are lavishly enjoying their new found wealth. In 2009, it was reported individuals falling into the upper class bracket had increased twofold. Interestingly, this boom is in large part due to the growing demand in the alcohol market. India is one of the world’s fastest growing markets for spirits, and remains Asia’s largest producer of alcohol.

Compiled and summarized by Muireann O’Keeffe.