Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Video – Retailers face uncertain times


In the wake of rising gas prices, retailers like Borders are up against a waning US consumer. The company put itself up for sale in March.

Like other retailers, Borders is trying new strategies to distance itself from its competitors.

Diane King reports from New York.

Audio – Mexican retailer Soriana focuses on debt

soriana.jpgAfter closing one of the biggest deals in the Mexican retail market in a decade by acquiring more than 200 stores from rival Gigante, Soriana plans to focus on keeping a tidy mid-term debt profile.
The Gigante transaction, which helped strengthen Soriana’s position against leader Wal-Mart de Mexico, will slow down the retailer’s organic growth for the next two years but the company hopes store openings will gather speed again in 2010.
Listen to Chief Financial Officer Aurelio Adan speak at the Reuters Latin America Investment Summit about how the company will handle debt in the next five years and the reasons why he thinks Soriana stock is undervalued.

Audio – Tough ride ahead for Mexico’s biggest retailer

walmex.jpgWalmex, the Mexican arm of U.S. retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc., is set for another tough year amid an economic slowdown that is making it more difficult for customers to buy anything from food to clothing.
In 2007, retailers were hurt by a downturn in the Mexican and U.S. economies. However, Walmex hopes that its first-quarter results will be decent. 
Listen to the company’s Chief Executive Eduardo Solorzano talk about the challenges ahead during Reuters Latin America Investment Summit. 

VF looks for more things to buy

vf2.jpgVF Corp. already makes Lee jeans, North Face jackets and Nautica sportswear. Now the company is looking for more brands to put in its closet.

Chief Executive Mackey McDonald told the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit that the company is eyeing more outdoor and sportswear brands that cater to women as it keeps up its acquisition pace.

Audio – The element of surprise

tesco.jpgUK’s grocery retailer Tesco was stealthy in its move into the US market - even building its new “Fresh and Easy Neighborhood Market” stores inside of warehouses, so that no one could see what they were up to.

“If anyone saw it asked what is this, we’d just tell them it’s a film set, and everyone would believe that in L.A. – it was entirely plausible,” Tesco Finance and Strategy Director Andrew Higginson told the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit in London. “We were able to get away with it for quite a while.”

Audio-Still a buying opportunity in stocks-Bespoke

hickey.jpgPaul Hickey, co-founder of Bespoke Investment Group LLC, said he sees a buying opportunity in stocks despite rising bond yields. “We wouldn’t say this is a really great opportunity for bonds here,” he said at the Reuters Investment Outlook Summit.

Audio-Ritholtz says economy in “slow-motion slowdown”

ritholtz.jpgWall Street strategist Barry Ritholtz said the U.S. economy is in a gradual slowdown, and that jobs recovery is the worst since World War II. “I called this the slow-motion slowdown,” Ritholtz, chief market strategist at Ritholtz Research & Analytics, told the Reuters Investment Outlook 2007 summit. He said chief executives have been reluctant to make investments and have limited their hiring and purchasing.