Understanding the Post-Recession ConsumerMonday, April 30, 2012
2:30 PM - 3:45 PM
John Danhakl, Managing Partner, Leonard Green & Partners, LP
Peter Lowy, CEO, Westfield Group
Georgette Mosbacher, CEO and President, Borghese Inc. Worldwide
Andrew Puzder, CEO, CKE Restaurants
It's not so easy to get a handle on the U.S. consumer anymore. Sure, the iPad 3 is flying off the shelves, and riots actually broke among shoppers clamoring for retro-style Air Jordans. But millions of newly frugal consumers use digital tools to comparison shop, refusing to bite on purchases until prices are slashed to the bone. Can discount and mid-level stores withstand the pressure on their margins? Will growth be driven by luxury brands? Which big names will fade away from the retail landscape, and which ones are poised for blockbuster growth? Did middle-class consumers really become more disciplined and minimalist during the recession, or do they feel entitled to reward themselves with travel, escapism and luxuries? Are they back to relying on credit cards, or are they still preoccupied with paying down old debt? How are higher gas prices changing the equation?