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Retailers, consumers and prices

Coca-Cola’s tale of four cities

July 21, 2009

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …

muhtar-kentWhen trying to determine how and when consumers will recover from the downturn, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent sees the world broken into four quadrants.  It’s “A Tale of Four Cities,” he said.

Think of four different quadrants, Kent said on a call on Tuesday after the company reported second-quarter results.

1. Europe, North America and maybe a couple of other economies – “where we will probably be experiencing resets in terms of the consumer psyche, where they’ll probably do things differently than they’ve done in the past.” 
 
2. China, India, Brazil - very strong, quick rebound 
 
3. Japan – “stagnation” 
 
4. Eastern Europe, Russia and the Ukraine - volatility.  “It could come back quickly and then it could go back down quickly. I think we’re in for a few years of zigs and zags for Russia, Eastern Europe and so forth.”
 
(Reuters photo of Kent at a 2008 news conference in Tokyo)

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