Tiffany and Company is one of the leading U.S. luxury jewelry brands, and their telltale “little blue box” has become a coveted item by women everywhere. Tiffany & Co. was founded in 1837 by Charles Tiffany and John Young and has grown to generate more then $2.6 billion in revenue through their 167 global retail outlets. The growth strategy that has seen them through their long reign is “growth without compromise”. In 2007, due to objections from their largest shareholder, Tiffany began looking at strategies to increase shareholder value. Two options were presented; opening new stores at a faster rate, and licensing Tiffany to an established Italian fashion-eyewear manufacturer/distributer.
The ownership of Tiffany & Co. has changed four times in the last 160 years; Walter Hoving bought the company from the Tiffany family in 1965, Avon purchased the company in 1979, and in 1984, Avon sold Tiffany for $135 million to investors who took the company public in 1987. Since going public, the value of Tiffany has grown from $135 million to $4.4 billion.
There are 3 channels of distribution that Tiffany & Co. uses to sell their products; U.S. retail stores, which account for 51% of sales, International retail stores, which account for 38% of sales, and Internet/catalogues, which account for 6% of sales. Of the international sales, about 50% were from Japan, 25% were from different Asia-Pacific countries, and 18% were from Europe. The amount of internet/catalogue sales is noticeably increasing each year, with a high of 744,000 orders in 2006.
The first international Tiffany & Co. was in Japan in 1972, followed by London in 1986, and stores were in over 10 different countries by 2007 (See Appendix A). Although Tiffany’s original strategy was to limit new-store openings to 4 to 5 per year, Tiffany revised this plan and began opening more stores at a faster rate as part of the strategy to improve shareholder value. This new approach succeeded in