American fast food chain McDonald’s has announced plans to cease operations or close down its restaurants in a number of Middle Eastern countries. Without specifying which markets will be affected, the Corporation said the pullout is a result of lagging returns on investment.
Since the launch of the grass-root boycott campaign in the Arab world against US goods and services in 2000, two of Jordan’s six McDonald’s franchises have closed due to lack of business, one in the capital of Amman and the other near a Palestinian refugee camp.
McDonald’s decided to change its brand name in Egypt to Manfoods this past March, in an attempt to dodge a consumers’ boycott launched against corporations identified as conducting business in the Jewish state.
McDonald’s Egypt posted announcements in local newspapers denying rumors that its workers have donated a day’s-pay for Israel. Egyptian police forces were ordered to guard the entrances to McDonald’s restaurants, after stone throwing incidents took place.
In light of American support for Israel, popular committees in the Middle East have been calling to widen the boycott against US-made products and services. Products on the embargo list include McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Pepsi Cola, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Marlboro and Heinz.
McDonald’s also announced that it will shut down or restructure locations in Latin American nations, lay off 600 employees and close approximately 175 restaurants in 10 other countries. The Corporation forecasts the closures to decrease its net income before tax by $350 million. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )