Media Alerts / Story Ideas

Week of Feb. 22, 2010

Published on February 22, 2010

LUXURY SHOPPERS ARE BACK IN SAKS, BUT FOR HOW LONG?

Saks releases its fourth quarter earnings this week, and marketers hope the luxury retail giant will confirm whether luxury spending is really on the rise. Upscale retailers like Saks have navigated tough times by cutting back inventory and stocking the shelves with new, more affordable designer lines. While these tactics may lure affluent shoppers back to the racks in the short term, Professor Vanessa Patrick says that luxury retailers may be compromising their ability to maintain a premium on the brand down the road.

To schedule an interview with Patrick, see Media Contacts section to the left.

CREDIT CARD REFORM COULD MAKE COLLEGE STUDENTS SMARTER CONSUMERS

Credit card legislation passed last year is supposed to make it easier for consumers to repay debt — or in some cases avoid it all together. This week, the provisions of the Credit CARD Act of 2009 go into effect. Bauer College lecturer and UH Small Business Development Center consultant John Lopez, who teaches personal financial planning to undergraduates, says it’s important for college students to understand interest rates and payment schedules before pulling out the plastic, and these changes might make it all a bit more transparent.

To schedule an interview with Lopez, see Media Contacts section to the left.

CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION COULD PUT BRAKES ON TOYOTA’S BRAND REFORM, PROF. SAYS

In the latest in a string of bad publicity for Toyota, officials from the company will have to answer questions about their vehicles’ safety on Capitol Hill as federal prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation following widespread recalls. UH Bauer associate professor of marketing & entrepreneurship Partha Krishnamurthy says the newest twist in the Toyota turmoil has the potential to irrevocably damage the brand. “This will keep the recall story in the news, which is bad, for a new wrong reason, which is even worse because it is a criminal probe,” Krishnamurthy says.

To schedule an interview with Krishnamurthy, see Media Contacts section to the left.

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