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Tiffany & Co will open its first company-operated New Zealand store late next year
Tiffany & Co will open its first company-operated New Zealand store late next year

Tiffany & Co jewellery moves to New Zealand

Strong demand from New Zealand customers has prompted Tiffany & Co’s Australian subsidiary to expand across the Tasman.

The international jewellery company recently announced it would open its first company-operated retail store in New Zealand next year.

The store, which will be managed by Tiffany’s Australian subsidiary, will occupy the approximately 430 square metre ground floor of Australis House, a heritage building that is part of the Britomart luxury shopping precinct in Auckland.

It is expected to open in late 2016.

Glen Schlehuber, Tiffany & Co Oceania vice president and managing director
Glen Schlehuber, Tiffany & Co Oceania vice president and managing director

Glen Schlehuber, Tiffany vice president and managing director for the Oceania region, said the company had many loyal New Zealand customers and that the retailer had been seeking to establish a presence in New Zealand for some time.

“New Zealand is a market that we have been visiting for many years, so it was really a matter of finding the right location and environment for our brand,” he commented.

Currently, the only local access New Zealand customers have to Tiffany product is through Auckland duty-free shopping outlet DFS T Galleria, which will continue to carry the brand. The company’s online stores do not ship to New Zealand. 

The new outlet will stock collections including Tiffany T, Tiffany Atlas and diamond engagement rings, as well as fine, gold and sterling silver jewellery and watches.

Schlehuber said he expected the store to be a “welcomed addition to New Zealand”.

“Tiffany & Co is such an iconic and sought-after luxury brand around the globe, so it is wonderful to be able to share the brand with the New Zealand community and welcome both new and loyal customers,” he added.

Tiffany, which was established in New York in 1837, entered the Australian market in 1994 with its first store in Sydney. The company currently owns seven company-operated stores in Australia as well as a locally based online store.

First half results

In other Tiffany news, the company has revised its net earnings expectations for the year ending 31 January 2016 in light of weak second quarter results.

For the six months ended 31 July 2015, worldwide net sales fell 3 per cent to approximately US$2 billion (AU$2.8 b), with worldwide same-store sales also declining 4 per cent. It was noted, however, that on a constant-exchange-rate basis, worldwide net sales and comparable store sales rose 4 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively.

Frederic Cumenal, Tiffany CEO
Frederic Cumenal, Tiffany CEO

The Asia-Pacific region recorded a 6 per cent lift in total sales and a same-store sales increase of 4 per cent for the first half on a constant-exchange-rate basis. This was led by double-digit sales increases in Australia and China, combined with “mixed performance” in other Asia-Pacific markets. In US dollars, total sales rose 1 per cent to US$504 million (AU$702.8 m) in the first half.

Tiffany predicted earlier this year during the release of its 2014 full year results that the first half would not fare well due to various economic challenges, including the effect of a strong US dollar on the translation of international market sales.

Commenting on the most recent results, Tiffany CEO Frederic Cumenal said, “While the adverse effects from the strong [US] dollar have been even more significant than initially expected, we met our overall expectations in the first half of the year.”

Net earnings took a hit in the first half, falling 16 per cent below the previous corresponding period to US$210 million (AU$292.8 m). The company’s 2015 net earnings expectations were consequently revised to a figure between 2 per cent and 5 per cent lower than the previous year’s US$4.20 (AU$5.86) per diluted share.

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