Summit Notebook

iSkyscraper? If you were Apple, why not?

June 22, 2009

If you had paid $3.5 billion for a skyscraper named after bankrupt automaker General Motors, wouldn’t you want a tenant to come in and pay you another few million to rename the building, with the added bonus of giving it a name not associated with a failed recipient of government largesse?

Retail in recession: bottoms, bananas and breeding

June 12, 2009

So, what did we learn from executives in the hard-hit luxury and main street retail sectors this week at the Reuters summits?

Tiffany unlikely to sell lawn chairs

June 11, 2009

Tiffany & Co has no intention of selling garden furniture and risking brand dilution, steering clear of the product mix of bankrupt rival jeweler Fortunoff , CEO Michael Kowalski hinted this week at the Reuters Global Luxury Summit in New York.

The savvy shopper is here

June 10, 2009

Liz Claiborne CEO William McComb has noticed that certain shoppers are getting smarter.  Hear what he had to say at the Reuters Global Retail Summit about the new savvy shopper.

Using the recession to teach kids key life lessons

June 10, 2009

Nina Kampler said yes to a pair of sneakers, but no to a new prom dress.

Kampler, executive vice president of strategic retail and corporate solutions at Hilco, said she has cut back on some spending during the recession, but hasn’t skimped on items that her four children really need or experiences that educate or enrich their lives.

Your skin care for the cost of a cup of coffee

June 9, 2009

Estee Lauder is doing its best to ensure its customers’ skin routines are not falling victim to the recession.

Where are you spending?

June 8, 2009

This week we’re getting inside views from some of the biggest names in retail…from high-end fashion houses like Hermes to department store chain J.C. Penney. Optimism among those in the industry about a turnaround toward the end of 2009 springs eternal…but what are you seeing? Where are you spending? Or, are you trading down? Ditching Saks and heading to Target? Barclays retail analyst Bob Drbul says the key for consumers in the current economic environment, no matter where they shop, is “value.” Click here to hear his thoughts:

Jonathan Adler’s big banana hit

June 8, 2009

Want to know what quirky housewares are selling during the recession?  Designer Jonathan Adler talks about one item that has taken off here.

Gay rights a key concern for Jonathan Adler

June 8, 2009

As a designer, Jonathan Adler is not too worried about the recession crimping sales of his home goods.  As a newlywed, one issue that does concern him is the rights of gay couples.
 
Adler married Simon Doonan, the creative director at Barneys, in San Francisco last September.

No more green shoots, but lots of bottoms

June 5, 2009

From the start, “green shoots of recovery” was not necessarily the British government’s wisest choice of words and after a few months of being on everyone’s lips, has given way to a more lowly metaphor.
Business Minister Baroness Vadera raised the hackles of the political opposition in January when she spotted “a few green shoots” on a day of large-scale job losses and collapsing share prices.
Evidence of economic revival is still elusive, but there are ever louder hints that we have at least seen the worst — or bottomed, to use the mot du jour.
Bottom as a noun and a verb was widely brandished by speakers attending Reuters Global Energy Summit this week, who based on their analysis on a slight increase in available credit, a tentative pick up in energy demand and rising commodity prices.
OPEC Secretary General Abdullah al-Badri has an interest in spotting the kind of confidence that has driven oil prices up from a low below $35 a barrel in December to almost double that.
“I have no doubt that the recession has bottomed out, but is it a V shape or a U shape?” he asked during a Reuters summit session.
Others were less convinced and the most bearish of them all was a representative of the very oversupplied tanker market, where freight rates have sunk to their lowest levels in decades, with not a green shoot in sight.
“We have seen lower than the bottom,” said Erik Ranheim, a manager at oil tanker association Intertanko.