The firm's trip started out in Beijing, China's capital city. Traffic was heavy on a Saturday afternoon from the airport to their hotel. The most prominent brands Stoltzfus and his team observed were "Honda, Hyundai, Toyota, Nissan, Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, Porsche, Jaguar, Bentley, Chevrolet, Cadillac," and Ford.
The strategists visited a nearby shopping mall full of high-end brand names, and observed medium foot traffic. Some of the stores appeared over-staffed, and they were later told by a local that "much of the actual shopping in China for these types of brands takes place online." Another Beijing local said the trade war had begun taking a toll "on at least some consumer sentiment the longer it dragged on."
Tables in an open-concept food court were packed with diners, the team observed, and later saw a similar heavy volume of families and travelers at the restaurant in their hotel.
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