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Luxury, Fragrance and the Retail Outlook

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: March 9, 2006

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Retail Marketing Society President, Lloyd Lippman, introduced the distinguished panel. Nancy Hoch, equity analyst; Marc Levinson, economist; and Carla Casella, fixed-income analyst, all weighed in on the state of the economy and its affects on the retail environment. Hoch maintained that while the past holiday season was not exceptional, “High end continued to outperform low end, and the high-end consumer continued to carry this momentum.” There was aggressive promotional cadence around the holidays in regards to pricing, with consumer traffic particularly strong on Black Friday. Post-season selling was robust in light of gift card purchases. Casella noted that, “Winners in retail will be distinguished by their strategies,” including operating efficiency and inventory management.