Tiffany Loses, Birks Gains in 2016 Holiday Season

Tiffany Loses, Birks Gains in 2016 Holiday Season

New York–Holiday retail results keep filtering in, and while Birks Group turned in a strong performance, Tiffany & Co.’s sales were affected by Trump Tower-caused foot traffic woes at its New York flagship.

In the two-month period ended Dec. 31, Tiffany reported that both same-store sales and total sales ($483 million) in the Americas were down 4 percent year-over-year.

The company attributed the decline to lower spending in the region overall being compounded by the 14 percent drop in sales at its flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York due to post-election traffic disruptions, an issue the company also noted during its third quarter results.

Worldwide, the company saw comparable store sales decline 2 percent while net sales were basically flat at $966 million during the two-month period, with sales growth in Asia-Pacific and Japan offsetting the weaker performances in the Americas and Europe.

In the Asia-Pacific region, total sales were up 7 percent to $200 million and comps were down 4 percent, while in Japan sales rose 16 percent to $143 million and comps were up 21 percent on higher spending by local customers.

In Europe, total sales of $119 million were 10 percent below the prior-year period and comps declined 11 percent over 2015 as demand across the continent remained weak among both locals and foreign tourists.

Tiffany CEO Frederic Cumenal said that the holiday season results were “somewhat lower” than what they had expected.

He also noted that while Tiffany doesn’t expect 2016’s macroeconomic challenges to ease this year, it will continue to focus on enhancing the in-store experience for customers and adding to the product lineup.

Meanwhile, the Birks Group, which operates 46 luxury jewelry stores across Canada, Florida and Georgia, also released its holiday results.

The company said U.S. comps during the season (Oct. 30 to Dec. 31) increased by 16 percent while Canadian comps grew 3 percent on a constant-exchange-rate basis. The growth in both areas was due largely to the company’s growth in average sales transaction and conversation rates.

Overall same-store sales for the company increased 11 percent year-over-year on a consolidated constant- exchange-rate basis.

The company attributed its strong holiday season to a focus on Birks-branded products, marketing campaigns and the in-store customer experience.

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