Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Austerity the “must-have” item for luxury buyers

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lux1Check out what top executives from the global luxury sector have to say.

Chief executives from Burberry Group, Hermes, Tiffany, Rolls-Royce and Richmont’s Van Cleef & Arpels are among the many officials who will speak this week at Reuters’ first-ever Global Luxury Summit about what their sector is facing amid a recession that has even well-heeled consumers dialing back spending.

In a new report, Bain & Co predicts sales of luxury goods are expected to drop 10 percent this year and not recover fully until 2012.

“Austerity is fashionable, even for the wealthiest consumers,” Bain partner Claudia D’Arpizio said.

Van Cleef & Arpels CEO Stanislas de Quercize said the French jeweler does not expect sales to rise this year even though it will open eight boutiques and Hermes CEO Patrick Thomas sees the luxury sector suffering for the next two years.

Check Out Line: The retail contraction continues

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ITALY-FASHION/Check out job cuts in retail spreading across the globe.

Last week, Neiman Marcus and Saks outlined plans to cut jobs. On Monday, it was Europe’s turn to join the fray.

Metro AG,  Germany’s top listed retailer, plans to cut 15,000 jobs or about 5 percent of its global workforce by 2012 amid a broader restructuring program, a source close to the company told Reuters on Tuesday. The company, which owns supermarkets and department stores, employs about 300,000 people in 2,200 stores across 32 countries.

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