June 2, 2010 / 3:59 AM / 9 years ago

Reuters Summit - Top quotes from the Global Luxury Summit

REUTERS - Here is a selection of quotes from industry executives attending the Reuters Global Luxury Summit:

Milton Pedraza, chief executive officer of the Luxury Institute, speaks at the Reuters Global Luxury Summit in New York, June 1, 2010. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

MICHAEL CELESTINO, DIRECTOR OF BARNEYS STORES

“Our customer is driven by fashion. They want fashion. They can only hold out for so long.”

WILLIAM TAUBMAN, COO, MALL OPERATOR TAUBMAN CENTERS

“They say experience is the true luxury. Your ability to go on a trip. Time. Time is luxury. To be able to go to Kathmandu to study yoga or whatever ... that’s sort of the ultimate luxury in a world where goods are proliferated.”

JEAN CASSEGRAIN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, LONGCHAMP

“It is very difficult to make predictions, every time we make some, we get it wrong ... which is why it is good that we are not listed.”

LEW FRANKFORT, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, COACH

On American male shoppers:

“I believe the American male is largely uneducable. We need to focus on the segment of males that have real discerning taste, but I can also say that even the undiscerning American male is a smart consumer. That person is looking for a product that is durable, that is classic, that can stand the test of time.”

On consumer feedback:

“We focus on the consumer, what she’s telling us and how she’s behaving,” said Frankfort, noting that the company interviews some 80,000 consumers worldwide every year.

“She’s telling us she’s not coming back and she’s telling us why. Now others may be more clairvoyant and do not need to ask consumers what they think ... but we have learned for us it works very well.

About his position that consumer spending habits changed permanently:

“I tend to be an outlier, always have, based on our brand positioning.”

PIERRE-EMMANUEL TAITTINGER, CEO, TAITTINGER

“I am worried about the debt of countries, when we have less money to travel far away, to buy houses ... but we will always have time to make love and drink champagne. So I am quite optimistic.”

FLORENT PERRICHON, CEO, CERRUTI

“China is not an easy market. Chinese consumers are very demanding; they don’t like ‘made in China’ products.”

MILTON PEDRAZA, CEO, LUXURY INSTITUTE

“It used to be, if it’s not unique and exclusive, it’s not luxury, right? Now what we find is that Louis Vuitton (LVMH.PA) has entry-level products, Tiffany (TIF.N) ... All these brands that have the halo of luxury, but that also sell entry-level products and are fairly ubiquitous, have done the best.”

STEFANO SASSI, CEO, VALENTINO

“Valentino was too exclusive ... Being more affordable means you are trying to get new customers on board. (But) we are not stretching down the brand.”

BELINDA EARL, CEO, JAEGER

“We’ve seen a quantum increase in international sales in the last month ... and I think that will only grow.”

SHINZO MAEDA, PRESIDENT, SHISEIDO

“Large tour buses arrive in the streets of Ginza (high-end Tokyo shopping district) almost every day, and the Chinese language is becoming ubiquitous all over Ginza”

NORIYUKI MORITA, PRESIDENT, MIKIMOTO & CO

“In about three years’ time, sales from China will probably double to account for some 10 percent of our total sales. China is Asia’s big consumption country.”

(For other news from the Reuters Global Luxury Summit, click here

(Compiled by Michele Gershberg and Dhanya Skariachan; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Will Waterman, Phil Berlowitz)

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