My Online Readings Follow me on Facebook Follow me on Linkedin Back to Home Follow me on Twitter

Iceland says goodbye to the Big Mac

Posted in

McDonald's closes in Iceland as currency collapse takes a bite out of Big Mac profits

By Gudjon Helgason and Jane Wardell, Associated Press Writers On 3:41 pm EDT, Monday October 26, 2009

REYKJAVIK, Iceland (AP) -- The Big Mac, long a symbol of globalization, has become the latest victim of this tiny island nation's overexposure to the world financial crisis.

Iceland's three McDonald's restaurants -- all in the capital Reykjavik -- will close next weekend, as the franchise owner gives in to falling profits caused by the collapse in the Icelandic krona.

"The economic situation has just made it too expensive for us," Magnus Ogmundsson, the managing director of Lyst Hr., McDonald's franchise holder in Iceland, told The Associated Press by telephone on Monday.

Lyst was bound by McDonald's requirement that it import all the goods required for its restaurants -- from packaging to meat and cheeses -- from Germany.

Costs had doubled over the past year because of the fall in the krona currency and high import tariffs on imported goods, Ogmundsson said, making it impossible for the company to raise prices further and remain competitive with competitors that use locally sourced produce.

A Big Mac in Reykjavik already retails for 650 krona ($5.29). But the 20 percent increase needed to make a decent profit would have pushed that to 780 krona ($6.36), he said.

That would have made the Icelandic version of the burger the most expensive in the world, a title currently held jointly by Switzerland and Norway where it costs $5.75, according to The Economist magazine's 2009 Big Mac index.

The decision to shutter the Icelandic franchise was taken in agreement with McDonald's Inc., Ogmundsson said, after a review of several months.

"The unique operational complexity of doing business in Iceland combined with the very challenging economic climate in the country makes it financially prohibitive to continue the business," Theresa Riley, a spokeswoman at McDonald's headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, said in a statement. "This complex set of challenges means we have no plans to seek a new partner in Iceland."

McDonald's, the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, arrived in Reykjavik in 1993 when the country was on an upward trajectory of wealth and expansion.

The first person to take a bite out of a Big Mac on the island was then-Prime Minister David Oddsson. Oddsson went on to become governor of the country's central bank, Sedlabanki, a position that he was forced out of by lawmakers earlier this year after a public outcry about his inability to prevent Iceland's financial crisis.

Lyst plans to reopen the stores under a new brand name, Metro, using locally sourced materials and produce and retaining the franchise's current 90-strong staff.

Ogmundsson said it was unlikely that Lyst would ever seek to regain the McDonald's franchise with Iceland still struggling to get back on its feet after the credit crisis crippled its overweight banking system, damaging the rest of its economy, last October.

"I don't think anything will happen that will change the situation in any significant way in the next few years," Ogmundsson said.

It is not the first time that McDonald's, which currently operates in more than 119 countries on six continents, has exited a country. Its one and only restaurant in Barbados closed after just six months in 1996 because of slow sales. In 2002, the company pulled out of seven countries, including Bolivia, that had poor profit margins as part of an international cost-cutting exercise.

AP Business Writer Jane Wardell reported from London. AP Retail Writer Ashley Heher contributed to this report from Chicago.

Quoted from: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Iceland-says-goodbye-to-the-apf-2609404079.html?x=0&.v=6

My comment:

Owh yeah. Big Mac is expensive. Big Mac = McDonald. Thank God KFC franchises in Malaysia ade owned by Malaysian now.

It's Finally Over, "A Day with PR 2009"

Posted in

Sekarang dah kurang busy. mari ambil peluang ini untuk update blog.

Before ADwPR 09

2 minggu aku yg sebelum ini adalah minggu2 yang paling sibuk. Tak lupa juga 1 minggu sebelum cuti raya. I got presentations almost every two days and several datelines to meet. Belum masuk task aku as a Special Task committee - Multimedia presentation, prepare excuse letter, parking lot reservation, prepare tag, souvenirs, souvenirs giving, prepare kit for participants, prepare program books, find photographers, registration table. Thanks sangat2 to Pub n Pro to take in charge of the registration and thanks sangat2 gak to Sponsorship bureau sebab partially take in charge of the souvenirs. Kawan2 yang melihat to-do-list aku berasa pelik:

"Er.. Jai, knaper kau kena buat multimedia dgn excuse letter wei? pelik dowh. Bnyk sgt ke task Secretary and Prep&Tech sampai ko kena buat kerja diorang?"

Bile buat checklist ape yang dah buat dan yang belum buat, Ta Daa... sampai 2 pages to-do-list aku.Tak cukup tidur aku jadinye. Ini of course dah jadi benda biasa bagi kebanyakan students. Ape yang membezakannya ialah berapa hari yang aku tak cukup tido tu dan kemampuan diri aku.

Setiap kali aku tengok to-do-list aku, aku rasa susah nak bernafas. 2 pages of to-do-list, and the program are just around the corner - this is too much for me. Beyond my capability. I can't do this all by myself. Doa2 harian aku mula penuh dgn doa2 untuk mencari kekuatan untuk melakukan semua ini.

"Ya Allah, aku sabar dgn apa jua cabaran dan dugaan Kau berikan kepada aku, dan aku tak kan menyesal atau menyalahkan sesiapa. Aku redha dgn semua ini kerana aku tahu Kau telah menyediakan sesuatu yang lebih baik untuk aku kelak. Apa yang aku mahu, Kau berikan aku kekuatan and permudahkan juga semua urusanku. Amin..."

Kisah Tag

Tag adalah kerja yang aku buat all-out sebelum cuti raya sampai tak tido malam. Ape yang mencabar disini ialah semua committee members are paying RM10 for each tag. sebab diorg nak material keras. fuyyoh. Msg yang sampai kpd aku ialah, "kau kena buat yang tag yang terbaik untuk diorang nih!" Serious weh. aku dah lama gile tak design tag. And ini pertama kali aku conduct photography session. So jawabnye, ramai la yang tak berpuas hari dgn kualiti gambar diorang. Ade yang cakap nampak lebih tembam, lebih gelap, lebih cerah, ade yang complaint nampak lebih cantik pon ade. Aku yg amatur bab2 fotography and buat tag ni tak dapat nak technically detect apakah punca masalah sumer ini. Kalau ade orang pakar sudi nak tengok tag2 aku dan bagi pendapat, silakan ye. Kalau tak aku tak belajar ape2 yang baru dalam aktiviti buat tag kali ini.

Yang ni Emilia menjadi saksi. The final part yang aku buat dlm tag tu ialah cover belakang tag. aku tulis phone number sumer head committee. Masa tu dah pukul 12am. Mata dah ngantok. Emi pon dok menunggu dgn tabah tag aku sehingga siap di HS Cafe. Tengah2 taip nama sumer komiti - dah siap taip n design dah pon. Tibe2 semuanye hilang. Dari A sampai Z. Ya ampoooon.... Terus aku jadi segar. Ape aku da tekan? Adoi. Last2, aku suro Emi baca sumer nama komiti dan phone number, aku taip laju2. So akibatnye page belakang jadi hentam keromo. Capitalize dan yang tak capital habis campur adok. Maaf ye kawan2. huhu.

Kisah souvenir

Aku beli souvenir sedikit demi sedikit. takut nanti kang ade terlebih beli. banyak duit aku dan komiti aku habis nak beli souvenir untuk VIP n speakers. Alhamdulillah. ramai yang tolong aku urusakan hal souvenir time last2 minute. Kesimpulan aku: Kita kena jadi realistik. kena tahu kemampuan kita. Kalau kita dah tak sempat, tandanya itu diluar kemampuan kita lah tu. Dan kita jugak tak boleh untuk berada di dua tempat pada satu masa yang sama. Don't keep it to yourself. Mintak tolong orang lain yang free. So disini aku bagi special thanks to Yana (My PM) dan sponsorship bureau yang sudi hulurkan bantuan uruskan hal souvenir.

Aku rasa aku dan komiti aku dah over budget beli souvenir. total up, kitorang dah habiskan RM200 just for souvenirs. Ya Allah. Dapat claim ke tak nanti. Kesian kat salah sorang subcomm aku. at least kalau dah dapat claimkan budget untuk dia dulu pon, aku dah sangat bersyukur. Yang aku kecewa kat sini ialah at the end of the program. Aku dapati ada pulak souvenir yang lebih. Ya Allah sedihnya aku tengok souvenir tu. 2 souvenir tu total cost RM60. Nanti dapat diclaim ke tak tu?

Kisah program book & backdrop

Alhamdulillah. program book aku memuaskan ramai pihak. Sangat2 berterima kasih kepada semua yang buat grammar check. Yana. Sir Aznan. Mira. Brape banyak kali buat grammar check and editing. Sentiasa ada silap. Itu aku anggap sebagai kelemahan diri aku. Grammar check yang terakhir dilakukan pada waktu maghrib by Mira. Huhu. Ni part yang best nie. Dari siang buat grammar check tak de pon yang perasan aku tulis tarikh salah kat program book tu - 13 August. Padahal program 8 Oktober. nasib baik la aku suruh adik aku buat final check dgn Mira malam tu, walaupon Sir Aznan dan Yana dah lepaskan program book tu. (Masa tu aku kat luar tgh beli hadiah untuk rector. Aku mintak adik aku - which is one of the committee members to handle the grammar checking) So aku rasa mira atau adik aku la yang betul kan tarikh tu pakai fotoshop (bukan aku sebab aku ade urusan lain ketika itu - membeli hadiah untuk rector)

From one issue to another (How fool of me)

Next day on the morning, aku terlintas untuk tukar desktop wallpaper laptop yang akan digunakan sepanjang program ADwPR 09. Sebab current wallpaper time tu ntah ape2. So aku tak de pulak design any specific wallpaper untuk hari tu. Aku pon dengan la la la nye ambik je cover page program book (seperti gambar diatas) yang ADE KESILAPAN PADA TARIKH (13 AUGUST 09) UNTUK DIJADIKAN WALLPAPER PADA HARI PROGRAM 8 OCTOBER TU. Aku langsung tak sedar tarikh wallpaper tu salah. Aku telah diinform pada malamnye. But it was very lightly informed until aku betul2 terlupa tentang isu tarikh silap itu. Damn how stupid I am. If kalau korang tanya what will be the main reason of my recklessness, aku rasa kerana aku terlalu letih ketika mendesign program book tu. Malam sebelum tu pon aku dgn adik aku tak tidur buat program book. (which is aku dah tak ingat dah bila kali terakhir aku dapat appropriate sleep)

Aku harap semua pihak dapat memaafkan aku. Ntah la ape komen Dr.Norbaiduri bile baca backdrop tu. Takut gile aku nak jumpa dia for the next time. Tu belum lagi Rector dan Shameem Abd Jalil. Kesian committee2 ADwPR 08 yg berkerja keras untuk lihat Opening ceremony ADwPR 09 berjalan lancar. Kesian Sir Aznan dgn Yana yang tengah duduk sebelah rector time tu. Ape la agaknye perasaan diorang. Oleh itu aku ingin melakukan public apology di sini kepada semua yang telah terlibat dalam program ADwPR 09. I will pay more attention on this issue in the future.

Some task left

Ok. Some task left. Certificate, excuse letter, (again, why me doing the excuse letter? secretary is so busy or what?) and to conduct a post-morterm. I will try my best to finish everyting by next week.

Thanks for reading. Dah lama aku tak buat entry panjang2.