Let’s Level That Playing Field

30 Nov

First, just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that there isn’t a long way to go but I think it is way under reported as to the progress made to date.  My China Sourcing Agency is located in Changzhou in Jiangsu Province.  What would be considered an up and coming 3rd tier city in China.  More and more foreign firms are investing here each year but I still stick out when I’m out and about.
Foreign Brands Available
Like all cities in China the shopping malls are full of brand names with every upscale brand you’d expect to find in a typical New York shopping center available to the new Chinese middle class.

What you might not realize though
In the downtown area within walking distance from my office there are lots of choices for dining as you would expect in any large city.  I think what would surprise those who have not spent much time in China recently is the variety of Western foods that are available.  Be aware; this is just in the city center.  This is repeated in other areas of the city as well.
4 – McDonalds

4 – KFCs

2 – Pizza Huts

1 – Papa Johns

2 – Dairy Queens

1 – Haagendazs

2 – Ajisen Ramen Noodle

1 – Starbucks Coffee
They are always packed and do a good business in China.  I suspect if you where to check the corporations involved like Yum Foods are reporting growing profits from their Asian sector.  Unlike in the US, KFC stores here have seating for 100 or so and are always packed and if you call in they’ll deliver to you.  What’s missing though is the drive through.  There are a few in China but I think you could safely say they total less than a hundred overall.  Gas station convenience stores are also pretty much non existent or at least not with the same merchandise that westerners are used to.  7-Eleven is here as well as the Chinese owned Kedi small store chains.
For those that cook at home there is a Walmart Super Center, British owned Tesco and Taiwan owned RT Mart close by so you can pick up a few things.

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