Tiffany Holiday Comps up 6% in the Americas

Tiffany Holiday Comps up 6% in the Americas

New York–On the heels of a strong third quarter, Tiffany & Co. reported Wednesday that same-store sales rose 6 percent in the Americas during the holiday season.

Total sales in the region for the two-month period ended Dec. 31 increased 7 percent year-over-year to $516 million.

On a constant-exchange-rate basis, there was a 6 percent increase in both comparable store sales and total sales.

Tiffany reported varying degrees of growth across most of the United States, Canada and Latin America, with higher spending attributed primarily to local customers, not tourists.

The results follow the company’s report that comps were up in the Americas in Q3, though that single quarter of growth came after years of sliding sales for the jeweler.

On a global basis, Tiffany’s comps were up 5 percent and net sales increased 8 percent to $1.05 billion. On a constant exchange-rate basis, worldwide same-store sales rose 3 percent and net sales increased 6 percent.

The company said the strongest growth came from the high, fine and solitaire category as well as fashion jewelry.

It also said customers were drawn to its watch collections, as well as its new Home and Accessories line, which was unveiled alongside its New York flagship’s fourth-floor renovation and the opening of the Blue Box Café. The café reportedly was generating so much excitement in the weeks following its opening that the wait was hours long.

Tiffany saw only “fractional growth” in sales of engagement jewelry and wedding bands.

In addition to the “substantial improvement” in the Americas, the company’s holiday performance was aided by the Asia-Pacific region, where total sales increased 16 percent to $232 million due to a 7 percent increase in comps, new store openings and an increase in wholesale sales, Tiffany said.

In Europe, same-store sales were up 2 percent and total sales rose 14 percent to $136 million, due also to the opening of new stores. The company saw “varying performance” across the region, with overall sales growth attributed to higher spending by local customers, not tourists.

In Japan, comps were flat and total sales rose by 1 percent to $145 million. Tiffany said the 2016 holiday period saw “exceptionally strong growth” in spending attributed to local customers, making it a difficult comparison.

New CEO Alessandro Bogliolo said though the retailer is “encouraged” by its holiday sales results, a sustainable turnaround will be achieved by “continuing to evolve our product offerings and customer experience and also by stepping up certain strategic spending in our business, all of which is reflected in our preliminary 2018 plans and earnings outlook.”

Management’s outlook for fiscal 2017, which will end Jan. 31, now calls for a global net sales increase of 4 percent compared with the prior year. (In its third quarter results, the company only said it predicted they would be up over the prior year by a low-single-digit percentage.)

Its outlook for fiscal 2018 calls for a mid-single-digit percentage increase in worldwide sales, and the company said it anticipates more spending across technology, marketing communications, visual merchandising, digital, and store presentation.

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