Tiffany saw same-store sales increase in both the fourth quarter and full year 2017, with fashion and designer jewelry outperforming sales of engagement rings for the New York-based jeweler.
New York--Tiffany & Co. reported Friday that its fourth quarter comps increased as its new CEO outlined six priorities for the company going forward, including a focus on omnichannel and store renovations.

In the Americas, Tiffany’s same-store fourth quarter sales rose 5 percent (4 percent on a constant-exchange-rate basis) year-over-year while total sales in the period also rose 5 percent (flat on a constant-exchange-rate basis).  

Total net sales were up 5 percent to $619 million in Q4 and rose 2 percent (1 percent on a constant-exchange-rate basis) to $1.9 billion for the full year.

The Americas started 2017 with a decline in sales, but improved as the year progressed, allowing the retailer to finish with a slight increase. Tiffany saw higher spending from local customers in the market, with sales to tourists unchanged year-over-year.

Globally, Tiffany’s fourth-quarter comps were up 3 percent (1 percent on a constant-exchange-rate basis) and net sales grew 9 percent (6 percent on a constant-exchange-rate basis) to $1.3 billion.

For the year, same-store sales were flat on both a reported and a constant-exchange-rate basis. Net global sales were up 4 percent to $4.2 billion, with sales growing in most regions.

Product-wise, Tiffany said sales of fashion and designer jewelry, its new fragrance, watches and home and accessories were strong. Engagement ring sales were weaker, ending 2017 down when compared with the previous year.  

Tiffany’s fourth quarter and full year earnings call held Friday morning—a marathon call that lasted nearly two hours and included Tiffany taking calls from analysts, which the retailer has not done in the past—sounded similar to the one held Wednesday morning by Signet Jewelers.

Both retailers are under new leadership, and both outlined multi-step plans to improve sales that contained like elements: emphasizing omnichannel, improving the in-store experience, fine-tuning the product assortment and making the company more efficient overall.

The Tiffany brand is healthy, CEO Alessandro Bogliolo, who came on board in October, said Friday, but it also has “a tremendous opportunity to grow.”

Also on the call, Bogliolo shared a few details of the new jewelry line coming soon from Reed Krakoff. It will feature platinum and diamonds—the first for Tiffany in “many years,” Bogliolo said—and will be an “addictive” type of product that is “very nice surprise for the market.”

He also mentioned watches, particularly women’s watches, as a priority for the retailer going forward.  

Tiffany’s store count remained relatively unchanged year-over-year. The retailer said it opened nine new stores in 2017 but closed seven.

As of Jan. 31, Tiffany had a total of 315 stores worldwide, including 124 in the Americas, one less than it had a year ago.

In 2018, the retailer said it plans to open nine, at least one in each region worldwide; close two; relocate 15, primarily in the Americas and Asia-Pacific markets; and renovate “many” stores.

The pop-up stores that Tiffany experimented with in the latter half of the year in the United States, Canada and Tokyo are not included in the store count.

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