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Local businesses win big in World Cup month

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- While Germany managed to best Argentina 1-0 in the World Cup Final, the winners in Taiwan were undoubtedly the local restaurants and sports accessories stores cashing in on fans' enthusiasm.

Restaurant chain TGI Fridays said it has seen sales increase by some 40 percent in the five branches that have extended service hours to accommodate fans.

The momentum peaked during the final match in the early hours Monday.

At a TGI Fridays' branch on Zhongxiao East Road in the upscale pedestrian shopping area of Xinyi District, waiters and waitresses dressed up as soccer players to serve two equally-divided camps.

“We put up an additional 100 seats on the patio, along with temporary screens and electric fans,” said Restaurant Manager Rossie Kuo.

Across the country, 112 McDonald's branches have seen their efforts to provide live broadcasts around the clock during World Cup games pay off with a 40 percent sales boost compared with the same period last year, the fast food chain said.

Besides restaurants, many sports accessories stores such as Puma and Adidas saw 70 percent year-on-year increases in merchandise sales, according to Hankyu Department Stores.

Soccer shirts for teams Germany, Argentina and Japan were all sold out before the final kicked off, the department store said.

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Staff members of a restaurant in Taipei pose for a photo in front of a crowd of customers watching the World Cup Final on Monday. Local restaurants were among businesses that did very well in the past month of soccer frenzy. (CNA)

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