Panera lowered price?
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I am back. I came back to St. Louis last night, after a bumpy ride from Shanghai to Chicago, and a delayed flight from Chicago to St. Louis, both due to weather. This morning I went to the Panera bread, and I found they lowered the price of souffles by at least 20 cents. Interesting considering the current economy environment.
I had similar feelings on Dec 26 when I talked to a taxi driver in Shanghai. He was saying fewer people are riding taxi these days. In normal days he could make 800 Yuan (revenue) by 11 PM, but recently he could barely make 700 Yuan by that time. On the surface, things are still quite rosy in China. My friend told me it’s “people mountain people sea” in Guang Hui Plaza on Christmas eve. From I read from the Eastern Daily, the Christmas shopping rose about 20% in Shanghai year over year: I bet the US will take that number and run, but this is not a good number according to the Chinese standard. The real challenge for Chinese goverment and business, is how to restore the consumer confidence and keep economy growing at a decent rate. It is not going to be easy because China relied mostly on foreign exports, infrustrure build up and more recently real estate for GDP growth in last 30 years.
Did I say real estate? The scary word of the year. While the authority is very nervous and reversed almost every measure used to curb the excessive bubble in real estate market, trying to restore the home buyer’s confidence, the reality of Chinese real estate is not good. A reality check should come soon or later, if we believe the price can not be away from the intrinsic value forever.
Air fare deal
Last but not least, Northwest is doing a promotion from Shanghai to North America recently.