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Monday, January 26, 2004

(Small businesses) Bird flu and fried chicken business

Fried chicken business has come close to a halt is what we heard from my sister-in-law (처형) and her husband in Pusan. Thus far they cannot but wait that the epidemic would be over, but at the moment it really doesn't look good for them. You just do not convert overnight to something else from a business which despite being toilsome has given a decent living for a long time.

The Korean variant of the bird flu is supposed to be of a different kind than in the Southeast Asia (article in Chosôn Ilbo), but it's not clear yet if it gets contracted differently from the Southeast Asian variant. No cases of contracts (?) on people have been found yet in Korea, but that cannot give much solace at the moment when one's business is getting ruined.

(UPDATE) Hankyoreh writes on Jan 27 that "90% of reservations cancelled in a samgyet'ang restaurant". "Late last year after the first news of bird fever sales dropped into ground, but later there was some improvement. Now with the news from Southeast Asia, 90% of reservations have been cancelled", tells a samgyet'ang (ginseng chicken) restaurant keeper.

Marketing director from Harim, which is the biggest chicken restaurant chain: "지난해 말 30% 정도 소비가 줄었다가 올해 초 다소 회복 기미를 보였으나 다시 원점으로 돌아갔다"고 말했다. (If my sister-in-laws place only had had 30% drop in sales, they'd be lucky, but this doesn't seem to be the case.)

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