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Consumers seeking move from couch to lap of luxury: CIBC World Markets

    NEW YORK, July 2 /CNW/ - CIBC (CM: TSX; NYSE) - Investors wary of retail
stocks amid a softening housing market can look beyond home-related companies
to branded clothing and luxury retailers, says CIBC World Markets specialty
retailing analyst Dorothy Lakner.
    "With the slowdown in housing, consumers are spending less on
home-related items, which is freeing up disposable income to spend on
themselves and ego-gratifying items such as apparel, accessories and
footwear," says Lakner. She adds that the healthy job market is likely to keep
consumers spending on these items into the second half of 2007.
    "The clothing, accessories and footwear retailers likely to do the best
will be well known brands, especially among teens and kids," says Lakner. "For
adults, branded and luxury items including denim, handbags, shoes, jewellery
and sunglasses, should also continue to do well." And she adds that men,
typically the first ones to cut spending when the economy appears to be
softening, are continuing to spend, stepping up in such categories as premium
denim.
    "We see a growing appetite for brands and ever higher levels of luxury,"
says Lakner. "Consumers continue to trade up to designer and other branded
lines because they feel an emotional connection to the product. Teens and
tweens are more aware of designer and luxury labels. And parents now want the
same brands for their kids as they buy for themselves." Lakner also notes that
among the softline companies she covers, the kids businesses in each brand are
growing faster than the rest.
    These themes, and the outlook for retail and consumer spending, should be
top of mind among investors at the CIBC World Markets Consumer Growth
Conference in Boston July 10-11. The event, considered one of the leading
consumer conferences, features more than 60 consumer growth companies. The
conference provides a valuable mid-year opportunity for investors to assess
the state of the consumer and the outlook for retail, restaurant, hardline and
consumer products industries.
    More information including a conference agenda can be found at:
http://conferences.cibcwm.com/consumer07/. An audio web cast of conference
will be available: (http://conferences.cibcwm.com/consumer07/) (enter code:
boston2007).

    CIBC World Markets is the wholesale and corporate banking arm of CIBC,
providing a range integrated credit and capital markets products, investment
banking, and merchant banking to clients in key financial markets in North
America and around the world. We provide innovative capital solutions and
advisory expertise across a wide range of industries as well as top-ranked
research for our corporate, government and institutional clients.
    The Consumer Growth Conference is organized by CIBC World Markets
Institutional Equities.




For further information:
For further information: Media contact: Dorothy Lakner, Executive
Director, Equity Research-Specialty Retailing/Softlines, CIBC World Markets at
(212) 667-7255; or Tom Wallis, Communications & Public Affairs, CIBC, (416)
980-4048

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