National "Hemline Survey" Predicts Knee-Length Skirts & Cautious Optimism

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If the old adage holds true that says hemlines go up when the economy improves, then things are cautiously looking up for spring. This is the third "hemline survey" by Taubman Centers (2003, 2004 and 2010). The time-tested theory relies not on computer models or financial projections, but on skirt-lengths as a barometer for the state of the economy.

If the old adage holds true that says hemlines go up when the economy improves, then things are cautiously looking up for spring.

At least that’s the fashion-omic forecast from a quirky yet historically accurate tool, the “hemline indicator.” The time-tested theory relies not on computer models or financial projections but on skirt lengths as a barometer for the state of the economy. And the just-released results of a survey commissioned by Taubman Centers suggests that skirt lengths will hover just below and above the knee this spring, accompanied by a cautious dose of optimism.

In an internet survey conducted by Market Strategies International, people across the country were asked the question: They say that hemlines go up when the economy improves; if that’s true, where do you think skirt lengths will be this spring? Fully 82 percent answered “just below the knee” meaning “cautious optimism” or “above the knee” which translates to “light at the end of the tunnel.” Only 14 percent chose “ankle duster,” indicating economic uncertainty. Four percent chose “cheesecake,” foreseeing good news ahead. The totals are:

  •          Ankle duster (Uncertain times ahead): 14 percent
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  •      Just below the knee (Cautious optimism): 44 percent
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  •      Above the knee (Light at the end of the tunnel): 38 percent
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  •      Cheesecake (Good news ahead): 4 percent

The internet survey was fielded January 21 through February 12, 2010. The 1038 responses were from participants that chose a specific Taubman shopping center as their primary shopping center.

This “hemline survey” is the third that Taubman has conducted. In the first study conducted in 2003, the majority surveyed (30%) predicted skirts would rise above the knee or “light at the end of the tunnel.” By 2004, 51 percent of those surveyed predicted skirts would rise above the knee– a more optimistic outlook than this year’s “just below the knee” or “cautious optimism” (44 percent) result.

Taubman Centers is a real estate investment trust engaged in the development, leasing and management of regional and super regional shopping centers. Taubman's 26 U.S. owned, leased and/or managed properties, the most productive in the industry, serve major markets from coast to coast. Taubman Centers is headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and its Taubman Asia subsidiary is headquartered in Hong Kong. Founded in 1950, Taubman celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2010. For more information about Taubman, visit http://www.taubman.com.

For ease of use, references in this press release to “Taubman Centers”, “company” or “Taubman” mean Taubman Centers, Inc.(NYSE: TCO) or one or more of a number of separate, affiliated entities. Business is actually conducted by an affiliated entity rather than Taubman Centers, Inc. itself.

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Karen MacDonald
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