China has given American consumers the best values they have seen in their lifetime.
More Americans are waiting to the end to shop for Christmas than any other time in the last 10 years. The consumer was never excited about anything that they saw this Christmas.
Customers are being just as protective with their gift cards as they were with their own money when buying Christmas gifts. The idea of free money is all in the past. They want value or something very special.
La-Z-Boy hasn't done much with football since that one campaign and I thought that was a mistake. They haven't made that connection with every Super Bowl and I think that is a mistake.
Back to school is a very important season for retailers because it's one chance in the year when retailers get a shot at parents and kids at the same time. Historically, sports figures have been the big players; now it's a different breed of endorsers taking over.
Over the last couple years, chains have tried to do something different -- they're trying to give consumers a different look, a different style.
Consumers look around and see (the Home store's),299 sofa and see others for 99 or 99 at other stores and it's a reality check. I find after the hoopla is over, they become retail museums.
I'm surprised they kept any of the May company brands, frankly.
I think that Wal-Mart has come to the realization that it cannot be focused on low-prices alone. They need a broader offering.