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Expert Alert

Holiday shopping in a recession

November 23, 2009

This holiday season, manufacturers, retailers, consumers and many others are playing a guessing game as a consequence of the economic ups and downs. When will the best sales occur and where? How will social media influence advertising and sales? Which brands are immune to price pressure and which ones aren't? University of Minnesota experts available to analyze this season of shopping are:

Mark Bergen, University of Minnesota Carlson School marketing professor
“Retailers have become more expert in using sales and product selection to land customers during these tough economic times,” says Bergen. “We'll see these lessons this holiday season as retailers offer more aggressive prices, even earlier in the season and create selections full of new sizes, new variations, brands and combinations to attract the economically more uncertain, more cautious and conservative customers.” Bergen is a sought-after lecturer and professor with expertise on a multitude of topics related to pricing. Bergen’s areas of expertise are bartering, gray markets, counterfeits, deflation, price wars and marketing strategy this holiday season.

Akshay Rao, University of Minnesota Carlson School marketing professor
There are more questions than answers this holiday season. “Should I shop now or wait for better deals? Will online shopping offer better sales than retail stores? How will social networking sites like Twitter affect how retailers advertise? These are some of the questions being asked this year,” says Rao, director of the Institute for Research in Marketing. “The holiday shopping season still remains the most important time of the year in terms of retail sales but when and how consumers spend is the question that is keeping retailers up at night.” Rao's teaching, research and consulting have focused on industries ranging from food and airlines to apparel and the Internet. His research and opinions have been featured in Time, The Boston Globe, NPR and other outlets. Rao’s areas of expertise are advertising, branding, gas prices and decision making.

To interview one of the experts, contact the University News Service, (612) 624-5551.

Tags: Carlson School of Management

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