Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders
from Shop Talk:
Bashful New York bargain hunters may finally be able to guard their modesty at one of the city's biggest annual retail events, as luxury chain Barney's is considering adding dressing rooms at its mobbed New York warehouse sale.
While well-educated and well-heeled professionals don't think twice about unleashing their animal instincts to grab the best designer merchandise at 75 percent off, many are reticent about stripping down in public to make sure they have the right size before ringing up a final sale.
San Francisco and Los Angeles shoppers have already enjoyed the relative privacy of dressing rooms at the Barneys events in their cities.
"We're experimenting with it right now," Barney's director of stores Michael Celestino told the Reuters Global Luxury Summit. "We're a little space constrained right now in in New York, but it's something we're considering."
from Shop Talk:
From our apparel reporter Nivedita Bhattacharjee:
Luxury brands in the United States might still have a lot to learn from the entrenched design houses in Europe, but their commitment to pleasing the customer serves them well as the market returns from recession.
Milton Pedraza, Chief Executive of the Luxury Institute, told us during the Reuters Global Luxury Summit today that the commitment to customer service could even become a real point of differentiation for American brands.
"The American brands and even the Burberrys of the world tend to be better at customer-centricity, at service, and could make that a competitive advantage, because the Europeans are not as service-oriented, more product-oriented," he said.
"The Europeans are not as service-oriented, (they are) more product-oriented, and they will even tell you that."
If one is looking for an explanation behind the attitudes, Pedraza invoked a time well before Hermes opened its doors in 1837.
"A French executive told me that the word 'service' ... is equated with servility and (goes) back to the French revolution and is why the French don't like to serve anybody."
from Shop Talk:
Check out what executives at luxury retailers around the world are saying about consumer demand.
Early feedback from the Reuters Global Luxury Summit, which gathered top executives from Asia, Europe and the United States, sounds positive. Some executives even predicted that the sector will rebound this year after suffering during the weak economy.
It’s hard to tell how much anticipation there is out there for Dell’s upcoming “Streak” micro-tablet. The No. 3 PC maker’s latest foray into a consumer arena that Apple’s iPad has essentially helped create is set to hit stores this summer in the United States.
Consumer business unit chief Steve Felice told the Reuters Global Technology Summit that Dell isn’t interested in becoming the No. 1 player in the smartphone and tablet mobile devices categories, where Apple and Google are waging a very high-profile war. But the former leader in personal computers fully intends to be a “top-tier player”.
Don't expect to see Sony's response to Apple's iPad tablet computer any time soon.
We talked to Sony Chief Executive Howard Stringer, who was in town to discuss the unveiling of Google TV, the initiative that marries the Web to television. Stringer was very excited about that product, which will appear first in Sony TVs later this year, giving the electronics maker a head start against what is expected to be a future filled with Internet-enabled TVs. While noting that Sony's digital book reader product sales are still strong, he seemed much less thrilled about any iPad-killer plans for Sony, maker of the popular Vaio line of computers.
You can just hear the University of Phoenix licking its chops right now.
Cisco expects to have its home TelePresence system — a living room version of what you have seen in those quirky Ellen Page commercials (see below) — by the holiday season at around $500 (plus some kind of monthly service fee), Cisco Executive Vice President Rob Lloyd said on Thursday at the Reuters Global Technology Summit. He and some other Cisco employees are about to start a round of internal testing.
The system will let two users have a conversation with video. Ok, yes, Skype does that every day over garden variety laptops. But TelePresence, as described by Lloyd, uses your high speed Internet link, and your own flat-screen TV, to deliver crisp video, and overcome that weird latency issue where you and your conversation partner both talk at the same time, and both stop to say “no…you go.”
Tod Nielsen certainly has the gift of the gab. VMWare’s chief operating officer, who was once videotaped by a reporter in the hope that he would turn out someday to be “famous” (and a royalty generator), waxed lyrical at the Reuters Global Technology Summit about everything from British CIOs and magic crystals to PCs .
Here’s a sampling of his colorfully phrased — though occasionally puzzling — views.
Apple developed the processor for it’s recently launched iPad tablet PC in-house. Intel was left waiting on the sidelines but change may be in store. Future tablets from other device makers, and maybe even Apple, could prove to be a lucrative for the world’s largest chipmaker. And why not, Intel already makes the microprocessors that are used in more than three quarters of the world’s PCs. Tom Kilroy, Intel senior vice president and general manager of sales and marketing, says “wait til Computex” for a big announcement. So, what’s likely to come out of the industry trade show this June in Taipei? Any thoughts? Click below to hear what Kilroy had to say in San Francisco at the 2010 Reuters Global Technology Summit.
Intel, Sony and Google are expected to unveil on Thursday a “smart TV”: an Internet-ready, super content machine that — if the hype is to be believed — will let viewers watch Celebrity Apprentice, tweet, and respond to emails at the same time. On Wednesday, Intel’s sales and marketing chief — while keeping his cards close to the vest — couldn’t resist a little plug for the general concept of Internet TVs.
“The smart TV category is going to take off. It just makes all the sense in the world,” Thomas Kilroy told the Reuters Global Technology Summit. “Why would you want to compromise when you’ve got a nice big screen, you’re watching TV and you want to access information and keep that program on instead of bringing in another device. ”
All those reminders to "think before you print" and the use of the email for most official correspondence might make you believe the office printer is no longer so important. The reality, however, is that we print more than ever, according to Vyomesh Joshi, Executive VP of Hewlett-Packard's imaging and printing group, who sat down with the Reuters Global Technology Summit in San Francisco.
The truth is, even company executives don't realize might be surprised much printing and printing-related is going on, he says.