REAL ESTATE

Hungry Howie’s Pizza opens Lafayette, La., shop

BY Michael Fickes

Lafayette, La. — Hungry Howie’s has opened a new pizza shop in Lafayette, La., near the University of Louisiana campus.

It is the third store for the young franchise. The other two stores are in nearby Baton Rouge.

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News

Guess? dons new chief of operations

BY CSA STAFF

LOS ANGELES — Global lifestyle brand Guess? has appointed Michael Relich as the company’s chief operating officer. As part of the brand’s executive leadership team, Relich will report to co-founder and CEO Paul Marciano.

Relich spent nine years as the brand’s chief information officer. Relich has had increasing global responsibilities, leading a number of areas, including IT, distribution/logistics, e-commerce and strategic planning.

"I believe, more than ever, that the integration of technology, speed, and brand synergy is vital for our success. Michael’s proven experience in these areas makes him a great fit as our new chief operating officer," said Marciano.

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FINANCE

Deloitte Consumer Spending Index flat in July

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index remained flat in July as improvements in real housing prices and labor markets offset weakness in other areas. The Index, which tracks consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending, remained at 4.4 this month.

“Our recent back-to-school shopping survey showed that consumers are more positive about the U.S. economy than in past years,” said Alison Paul, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP and retail & distribution sector leader. “However, nearly 60% of shoppers said they would buy only what the family needs. About one-third said they would spend more, but mainly due to the perception of higher prices and children needing more expensive items for school.”

Despite their improved optimism, consumers may be holding out for more proof that economic stability is lasting before any splurging, Paul added, meaning retailers have to make their merchandise and offers extremely attractive to finish the back-to-school shopping season strong.

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