June 21, 2010 / 10:24 PM / 9 years ago

Quotes from Consumer and Retail Summit

Following is a selection of quotes from the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit:

FAROOQ KATHWARI, CEO, ETHAN ALLEN INTERIORS INC (ETH.N)

“We do not do a lot of business with folks who are in their 20s. It’s in their early 30s, mid-30s when they say, ‘we now want some good quality, we want the help of a designer, we don’t want disposable furniture.’ That’s when they come to us.”

MATTHEW SHAY, CEO, NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION

“We need to see decisive gains in employment over a sustained period of time” for consumer spending to come back.

“I’m a consumer too and I love to shop and I love to go to retail stores. I don’t have an exact idea of how many months that means, but I think we need to really start knocking the unemployment number down.”

NINA KAMPLER, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, HILCO REAL ESTATE

“Those retailers whose time has passed — the steel mills of Pittsburgh of yesteryear, the shoe manufacturers of New England of yesteryear — that is the video stores of 2010, it’s just done.”

“The plethora of jewelry stores that sell jewelry to people whose houses are under water and can’t pay car payments is mind-boggling. It’s about the last thing I think somebody would buy if they’re in the middle of a foreclosure — Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day notwithstanding.”

BRYAN STOCKTON, PRESIDENT OF MATTEL’S (MAT.O) INTERNATIONAL UNIT

“Barbie is becoming part of not only Chinese educational culture but also Chinese pop culture.”

JUDITH MCKENNA, FINANCE DIRECTOR, ASDA (WMT.N)

“While we hope for better times ahead, we’re certainly not planning on that basis. We strongly believe that customers in the second half of this year and into 2011 will be looking to make every penny count in their disposable income.”

DAVID WILD, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, HALFORDS (HFD.L)

“You have to separate what’s going on with GDP (gross domestic product) and what’s going on with consumer spending.”

“My feeling is GDP will grow this year and next year but that consumer spending may follow a different trend.”

“There are significant pressures around production costs in the Orient, in part because of U.S. recovery, in part because of dollar devaluation and more recently because of the removal of the (Chinese yuan’s) peg.”

IAN CHESHIRE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, KINGFISHER (KGF.L)

“What is quite clear is there is consumer spending available for things that are different. The iPad is the super extreme example of that, but I think that’s playing into a broader theme.”

“I can’t see any way for the yuan other than up, but I think the pace at which it will happen will be quite carefully modulated by the Chinese government.

“China will still be very competitive .. even (with a) 20 percent exchange rate appreciation, in some products the scale of the savings versus UK or European manufacturers is still big.”

Compiled by Martinne Geller, Mark Potter and James Davey

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