SBJ/20100927/Up Next

Forward Thinking with...

LYNN FRANCO
Director,

The Conference Board Consumer Research Center

How long can we expect discretionary income to be distressed?
Franco: 2008 marked the first time in more than 40 years of our conducting the Consumer Confidence Survey that the number of people expecting their incomes to decline over the next six months exceeded those expecting their incomes to increase. This gap still exists today and is not likely to reverse itself until the pace of job growth accelerates and Americans are convinced a recovery is under way. With next year expected to be another slow growth year, we can expect consumers to remain on the sidelines when it comes to discretionary spending.

JEFF SCHUMACHER
Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Strategy Officer,
The Sports Authority

You are on the front lines of American sports spending. What are you seeing?
Schumacher: For the last few years, we have seen traffic and spending decreasing across the industry, but last fall we took a new approach in response that has turned it around for us. Americans still love sports. The key is to make it easier for your customer to say yes to the goods and services that make it possible for them to enjoy sports.

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