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Build A Bear Workshop Proposal For Expansion

6601 words - 27 pages

BACKGROUNDSouth Korea is believed to be one of the most successful countries in Asia. In recent years, Korea's economy moved away from the centrally planned, government-directed investment model toward a more market-oriented one, and as a result, their market situation has steadily improved. In a press release dated February 4, 2005, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economy, Lee Hun-jai said, "The economy continues to improve especially when compared to data from last year" (http://english.mofe.go.kr). According to an article in the Digital Chosunilbo (English Edition), Korea's gross domestic product (GDP) ranked tenth in the world in 2004 and they have become the tenth ...view middle of the document...

This nation's consumer buying power ranks among the highest in all of the Asian markets. There is a large demand for specialty retail sales, computers and electronics, apparel, and daily necessities are in the top range as being the strongest in the world. These consumers are hungry for novel products and they are a perfect test market for innovative technology and new products. Steady growth in the electronic industry is driven by a strong response of young consumers toward the latest trends. In general, Northeast Asia has been characterized as an emerging market with unlimited potential and dynamic growth.The won is the currency in South Korea. The stability of the dollar and the yuan (Chinese currency), as with South Korea's exports, affect the stability of the won. The US Federal Reserve Bank recently increased the basis points on the dollar by 0.25 and it is expected that rate hikes will continue in order to strengthen the dollar. Until recently, there was concern about the yuan and its value; however, latest reports indicate that real estate prices and inflation have stabilized and Chinese exports have continued steadily growing so the outlook is much better than initially forecasted. Accordingly, the won continues to stabilize and gain momentum in the world's economy. Domestically, many factors are integral in determining South Korea's current market situation. In the past, there have been negative economic sentiments. Deputy Prime Minister Lee said, "Recent indicators have been positive, strongly suggesting a turnaround in domestic demand is near. Credit card use, oil consumption and auto sales, for instance, have all improved" (http://english.mofe.go.kr). He also mentioned that credit payment delinquencies have declined, a reliable indication that household income to debt ratio is beginning to decline. Department Store sales and service sectors are experiencing growth. There is a nine percent increase on Department Store sales excluding food purchases. The Consumer Expectations Index (CEI) was 90.3 percent in January 2005, up from 85.1 percent in December 2004 (Appendix A); coupled with the Consumer Present Situation Index (CPSI), both are encouraging indicators of South Korea's current market situation. The inflation rate stabilized to 3.6 percent in January 2005, down from the previous year. Producer price increases have slowed considerably since September 2004 and will have a significant impact on producer and consumer prices. As the won continues to appreciate, pricing will not be an obstacle to the continued recovery of the domestic economy. After enduring the growing pains of a drastic restructuring period, this economic growth has been eminent. Deputy Prime Minister Lee also stated that the government is committed to a full-scale economic recovery and that the entire nation should work together toward this common goal.POLITICAL INFORMATIONThe Republic of Korea is much less vulnerable to political intervention than it was 10 years...

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