Both Tiffany and Signet were buffeted by international slowdowns, particularly among Chinese shoppers who usually buy luxury items. In North America, however, Tiffany has been better able to sidestep the obstacles that have hampered Signet’s variety of jewelry operations. Part of Tiffany’s resilience comes from courting millennials with marketing coups such as Lady Gaga wearing Tiffany jewelry during last season’s Academy Awards ceremonies.
Tiffany has also targeted younger customers by adding affordably priced pendants and earrings to its collections; this year’s spring photo shoot featured Kendall Jenner wearing its designs. Tiffany is also working to expand its presence online, selling through its own website as well as on platforms such as Alibaba’s Tmall, Net-a-Porter.com and Farfetch.com.
Youthful consumers notwithstanding, Tiffany isn’t abandoning its heritage. Earlier this year, renovation began at its Manhattan flagship store, which generates 10 percent of the company’s annual revenues. The store, including the Blue Box Café, has remained open during the three-year, $250 million construction project. “We are extremely excited about the opportunity to transform our iconic New York flagship store and create a dramatic new experience for customers,” CEO Alessandro Bagliolo says.
Part of Tiffany’s plan “to redefine the modern luxury retail experience” includes enlarging retail and event space. The landmark structure, which has been home to Tiffany since 1940, contains 124,000 square feet of floor space, but only 45,000 square feet on the five lower stories has been used for retail.
On permanent display is the Tiffany Diamond, a 287.42-carat yellow diamond. The store has also been featured in numerous television shows and movies, notably “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” starring Audrey Hepburn and “Sweet Home Alabama” starring Reese Witherspoon. Last year, Tiffany commissioned rap artist A$AP Ferg and actress Elle Fanning to do a mix of “Moon River,” the Johnny Mercer-Henry Mancini song featured in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”