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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Business Success in a Depression!

If someone had asked me a couple of years ago to invest money in a coffee shop franchise in Greece, I would have responded that there are easier ways to destroy money.

And then, about a year ago, I saw the first time a Mikel's coffee shop, in Katerini. Katerini was said to be particularly hard hit by the depression with collapsing consumption spending. Yet, none of that could be observed at Mikel's. On the contrary, the shop, which had been open for about 6 months, allegedly never had a day with sales of less than 4.000 Euro.
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The entire concept of this franchise seemed brilliant to me. From design to products to service - the whole package simply looked perfect. Thus, I was not surprised to see Mikel shops opening in Thessaloniki in the last few months.

And it seems that people are beginning to notice the success of Mikel's. Here is an article from the Ekathimerini about this franchise.

I guess this just goes to prove that even in the worst of times, good ideas can still be successful!

6 comments:

  1. Now let's see if they can do this kind of thing in Germany ... !! They need this kind of business flair. Badly.

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  2. Klaus, did you see Hans Werner Sinn's latest article on Greece?

    http://www.wiwo.de/politik/europa/denkfabrik-griechenland-ist-wie-die-mongolei/8784366.html

    Predictably, it generated a lot of criticism on Greek media, but I think that every word he says is true.

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    Replies
    1. No, I had not seen this article. Neither have I seen comments about it anywhere. Yes, I agree that Sinn makes good descriptions of Greece's problems. Whether or not one should compare Greece with Mongolia, however correct such a comparison may be, is a matter of tact and taste, in my opinion.

      The ultimate issue is never capital flows and debt. Instead, the ultimate issue is always what the money, if a lot of it flows, is being used for. If Greece had used the EU subsidies since 1980 and the Euroloans since 2001 in productive ways, it would probably be the star of Europe today.

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    2. As a Greek, I really relate to the other topic that Sinn raises, that of chaos. The chaos of Greece can be very unhealthy to someone who is not ready to cope with the bullying that chaos brings (chaos favors the strong; not just the financially strong, but the strong in general).

      I believe that it is this chaos which is the true cause of Greece's problems, and not the flow of funds (or their use). I have often stated in the past that the pillars of any decent society are an accepted set of rules which are *actually being applied*. That brings order, and only through order can societies prosper. Until Greece resolves this issue, it's going to remain a problematic country.

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    3. As a Greek, I really relate to the other topic that Sinn raises, that of chaos. The chaos of Greece can be very unhealthy to someone who is not ready to cope with the bullying that chaos brings (chaos favors the strong; not just the financially strong, but the strong in general).

      I believe that it is this chaos which is the true cause of Greece's problems, and not the flow of funds. I have often stated in the past that the pillars of any decent society are an accepted set of rules which are *actually being applied*. That brings order, and only through order can societies prosper. Until Greece resolves this issue, it's going to remain a problematic country.

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  3. Livery wise Mikel's looks similar to Michel's patisserie franchise in Australia. According to WikiP Michel's started in '88 and has 360 outlets. I've only noticed it in shopping centres as they're called here. None that I know of on the shopping strips where are plenty of owner operated cafes.

    I went to a shopping mall today (normally I avoid them) and remembering this blog post I tried a Michel's coffee - 10 times better than the couple of coffees I've had at Starbucks here and in SE Asia. Mikels is obviously not a clone of Michel's, but one wonders if there's not some influence given the number of Greeks there are here.

    Michels have have outlets in NZ and China. Let's hope Mikels can do as well as Michels - maybe they can join hands and become M&M :)

    I could not get what I wanted (cooking pots) at the Made in China Mall, luckily I remembered a specialist shop not too far distant. They were more my style. The EU goods were from France & Scandinavia, the price way above my budget (to be fair it was very high grade stuff with 1cm copper bottoms). But I found exactly what I wanted, good quality stainless with sensible handles. It wasn't cheap, but it has that nice "this will probably outlast me" feel. The pots were made in Chicago USA, the sales person was super, told me how to clean stainless steel, didn't say "have a nice day" - not even once, Home Counties English I think.

    ck

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