Tiffany & Co. goes from strength to strength at LVMH
The sun seems to be shining on LVMH. And one stand-out performance in the French group's recently published – and excellent – quarterly results was a strong performance from Tiffany & Co. The American jeweler, which was acquired by LVMH, the world's largest luxury company, at the start of the year, has more than satisfied its new owners, all while keeping itself firmly in the global spotlight through a series of headline-generating initiatives, including a rumored collaboration with streetwear icon Supreme, which numerous reports have suggested is currently in the pipeline.
Tiffany & Co. achieved "a remarkable performance" in the third quarter. According to LVMH's head of financial communications, Christopher Hollis, the brand's growth was "particularly strong" in the United States, the label's largest market, where it generated 45% of its total revenues. This progress is particularly encouraging because, as pointed out by chief financial officer Jean-Jacques Guiony during an earnings call with analysts, "we have only been managing the company for eight months. We have been lucky to achieve good figures, which was by no means a given, as the year following an acquisition is always complicated."
No specific figures have been given concerning Tiffany & Co.'s performance, as LVMH would like to gain "a little more distance" on the acquisition first. However, the house made a positive contribution to the growth of the group's watches and jewelry division, which posted 6.16 billion euros in revenue in the nine months ending September 30, 2021, up 49% from the same period in the previous year. The division's third-quarter revenues rose 18% year over year.
"We are pleased with the outcome. The business is doing well in Asia and the United States. These two countries are motors for Tiffany and they are going at full speed. All the initiatives, in terms of product and marketing are getting a good response from the client base, wherever they take place," summarized the group's CFO, before going on to explain that the brand's strong results led the company to do away with practically all of the label's network of multibrand distributors, as its sales can now be supported almost exclusively through its own retail network, which experienced "very high levels of growth" over the last three months.
Tiffany has also accelerated its internal transformation with the appointment of new executives. The brand recently promoted Andrea Davey to the position of chief marketing officer, a role that has been missing from the label's organigram for the last five years. Davey, who has been at the company since 2013, has served as senior vice president of marketing since 2018.
The company has also named Gavin Haig as its new chief commercial officer, bringing the executive in from Burberry, where he held the same role. Previously, Haig was CEO of Belstaff from 2014 to 2018, and has also served in leadership roles at Cartier and Alfred Dunhill. He succeeds Philippe Galtié. Last summer, Nathalie Verdeille joined Tiffany as VP and artistic director of jewelry, coming to the brand from Cartier, where she had led jewelry design for 15 years.
LVMH did not discuss its strategy for Tiffany in detail during its results presentation, but did reveal some elements of it. "The brand has great exposure in the United States, which is its biggest strength. We want to develop the rest of the brand's operations on a global scale, but not at the cost of its American operations. So the company will develop everywhere simultaneously. We hope to improve its desirability with meaningful products and marketing strategies, without particularly targeting a specific group of customers," explained Guiony.
"We want the brand to have a broader appeal to a wider range of customers, and that's what we're doing from a marketing and product point of view. We are analyzing all the different product categories, in particular from the perspective of pricing, and determining what the winning products are. Our objective is obviously to develop our operations with younger consumers," continued the executive, who nonetheless denied that the company was seeking to focus particularly on Millennials.
However, judging by some of the most recent initiatives taken by the brand under the direction of Alexandre Arnault, who was propelled into his current role of executive vice president of product and communication at the age of 29, it's obvious that the iconic jewelry house is undergoing drastic rejuvenation efforts. The label's recent "About Love" campaign, which stars one of the most famous and powerful couples in the world – singer Beyoncé and rapper husband Jay-Z – as well as art by Basquiat, takes clear aim at younger consumers, as does the appointment of American basketball player Kyle Kuzma as a new brand ambassador.
In any case, Tiffany & Co. has been on everybody's lips since this summer and has once more been creating a buzz on social media in the last few days. According to several streetwear-focused websites, the jeweler is currently preparing a collaboration with legendary New York-based brand Supreme. The collaboration would certainly be an unexpected move, but one that aligns perfectly with the changes taking place at the American jewelry brand.
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