Retailers, consumers and prices
Check out the uptick in business at U.S. and Canadian drug store chains amid the swine flu scare.
Hand sanitizers, antibacterial soap, face masks and gloves are flying off the shelves of drug stores due to fear of swine flu, also known as the H1N1 virus, but executives said it is too early to judge the impact in other retail sectors.
The makers of such products, like Johnson & Johnson’s widely used hand sanitizer Purell, are ramping up production to meet demand.
Even Kellogg, the world’s largest cereal maker, said it had seen some large orders from Mexican retailers that may be stockpiling in case consumers begin hoarding food in the wake of the flu outbreak there. However, officials there were encouraged by signs the number of new cases were dropping.
Check out the slumping global economy for burgers.
Burger King said it had an unexpected slowdown in traffic in March, which cut into the margins at the company’s restaurants.
The biggest culprits were Germany, the company’s second-largest market, and Mexico, the only market in Latin America where the company owns restaurants.
Burger King is attacking the traffic decline with “value” menus. In Germany, it is offering “King Deals,” which are “value-priced” combo meals. It has also relaunched the 99 euro value menu and is also opening more during breakfast.
In Mexico, the company is promoting its “Come Como Rey” (Eat Like a King) value menu. Apparently in Mexico, kings eat Whopper Jr.’s. (Or is that Whoppers Jr.?)
The company said it is seeing some improvement in April.
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Wal-Mart CEO doesn’t see quick end to the recession
Consumers prices fall as energy demand slumps
Apparel firms partner with Yankee stadium (WWD, subscription required)