December 1998


  • World News Today... daily headlines and abstracts
  • US Men's Apparel Market is Growing and Casual
  • Foreign Direct Investors Prefer Stable Markets
  • Drastic Ad Budget Cuts Planned for Russia
  • Euro Interest Rate Cut Boosts Confidence
  • Central America Negotiating Free-Trade Pacts for 1999
  • Information & Communications Industry Booms in Germany
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  • USA -- The US men's apparel market is large and represents nearly 1/3 of the entire apparel industry's sales. It is expected to grow substantially over the next few years. It is a dynamic industry, with regard to style, attitude, and shopping behavior not to mention increasingly competitive aspects of the business with regard to distribution, inventory control and R&D.

    Three-quarters of men say they care about how they look (according to a Land's End study). And upscale men over 40 are spending more than ever before. In fact, they account for the most significant share of sales in the category. This is the target to watch. This is the target dressed in Casual Friday adventure wear. But note that their "Friday" has become an "everyday of the week" phenomenon, and the styles are becoming more refined.

    An interesting juxtaposition, however, is noted among the 25 - 35 group. GenX is dressing for work and evenings out in suits. They say 'their fathers wore jeans.' This is where the biggest growth in suits and formal men's wear is noted -- among this up and coming stylish generation. They want to show they've "made it." And want to be treated with respect.

    The US men's apparel market, while poised for significant growth is competitive and has a high cost of entry. Point in fact, Levi's brand Slates division ran a US$25 million advertising campaign in 1997.

    It's a large and fragmented market vying for the attention of the new male shopper who cares about style, comfort and staying competitive in an ever-demanding job market.

    For more information about the men's apparel market, PANGAEA would be delighted to present its latest findings and trends.

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    LONDON, UK -- The current Foreign Direct Investment Confidence ratings released by A.T. Kearney this month, reveal that corporations are becoming more cautious with new investments abroad. Nevertheless, USA(1), Brazil(2), China(3), UK(4), Germany(5), Mexico(8), Poland, France, Spain and India remain among the top 10 preferred markets for investment, with growing confidence in South Korea (South Korea has moved from 2lst to 16th place), Thailand (maintaining the 15th position) and Japan (which moved from 23rd to 19th place).

    Stable markets are what investors are looking for now -- more today than six months ago. The five factors investors consider most important when looking at markets abroad for direct investment are: market size, political stability, GDP growth, regulatory environment and profit repatriation.

    The country that seems to have lost the most ground among investors according to this study is Russia.

    While market preference differs from industry to industry, the markets that remained high across all industries were: the USA and Brazil.

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    MOSCOW, Russia -- 1999 will be a solemn year for the advertising industry, among others industries in Russia. Advertising budgets for 1999 are projected to be cut in half, compared to those from this year (1998). As a result, there has been significant downsizing in Russian agencies. For example, McCann-Erickson reduced staff in its Moscow office by 30%, but decreased payroll by 50%.

    In these obviously turbulent political and economic times, there is little to buy in Russia, hence, little reason to advertise. According to J. Walter Thompson's President of Europe/Middle East/Africa (whose primary Russian clients include Ford Motor Company, Kraft Jacob Suchard and the Kellogg Company), 90% of the advertising planned 4th Quarter 1998 has been cut.

    Multinational marketers are slowing down local production and hoping to wait out the crisis, but future foreign investment is showing significant signs of slowing down in Russia and other emerging markets.

    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)

    FRANKFURT, Germany -- On January 1, 1999, 11 European countries are launching the euro, the single European currency: Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal. In an effort to boost confidence, they mutually agreed to cut interest rates to a common 3% across the board (with the exception of Italy, whose rate is now at 3.5%, but will reach 3% by Jan. 1). This was an important move towards economic union as interest rates continue to be a political issue, particularly in Germany and France where lower rates will help boost growth and cut unemployment.
    (Source: YOUR LINK HERE)

    CENTRAL AMERICA -- Central American countries plan to sign a free-trade agreement with Chile next year to take advantage of reduced and/or duty-free access to Canada and the Mercosur bloc, of which Chile is an associate member. Caricom, The Caribbean community, is also discussing a free-trade agreement with Central America. Such agreements benefit these markets with lower labor costs as well as cheaper access for trade, than going through the US.
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    GERMANY -- Interest in interactive communications is growing. Computer skills are in high demand in Germany. In fact, about 25% of all new jobs throughout the country are in the information & communications industry. This is likely to be just the beginning of a growing trend with internet use and online services booming in the coming years.

    Today more than 1/3 of western German companies use the internet; only 1/6 of eastern companies. The potential is enormous.

    German companies are expected to invest more than US$2.2 billion this year in internet and e-commerce applications. And they are hiring qualified programmers at record numbers to prepare for the new millennium (Year 2000 Bug) and the adoption of the euro. As the business focus on technology is being realized, the demand for qualified programmers and industry specialists is on the rise.
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    LAST MINUTE TRAVEL BARGAINS -- Special Discounted Fares

    American Airlines' Net SAAver and Net SAAver International offers last minute travel bargains for travelers departing from the USA. You can schedule a last minute meeting or a weekend getaway to selected destinations throughout the USA, Europe, the Caribbean, Central America or South America each week and benefit from these discounted rates.

    Through this program, you can fly at discounted rates, as long as you can plan to travel on short notice. These low round-trip fares are good for travel only on the dates specified. They expire on Fridays. Check back each Wednesday for the week's destinations!

    From Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX (DFW) to:

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    [Restrictions apply. Check with American Airlines or our travel service group for details and confirmation. Not responsible for typographical errors.]

    International flight departures leave on Thursday or Friday, December 10 - 11, 1998. Thursday departures return anytime the following Monday and Friday departures return anytime the following Monday/Tuesday.

    To take advantage of these last minute bargains, or any travel needs, Call 1-800-715-4440 and ask for a Net SAAver Domestic or International Fare. Be sure to give the agent this PIN#: 27035 to book your flight. Or send e-mail to, include your name and telephone number, please.

    You can also read the latest news about Travel & Tourism.

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    For more information about any of these topics in any foreign market, or if you would like an in-depth market study, contact PANGAEA, International Consultants. With an extensive network of marketing consultants, attorneys, ad agencies, research companies, logistics experts and more around the world, PANGAEA is uniquely qualified to offer hands-on, local marketing and management consulting services.

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    Updated 12/8/98