Tiffany & Co is the world's most celebrated jeweller, with an unrivalled reputation for sophisticated luxury. It is best known for its white jewels, notably diamonds, platinum, pearls and silver, and also the distinctive blue ribbon-tied boxes in which it packages its products. The company launches new collections each year, produced inhouse or from exclusive designs by Elsa Perretti and Paloma Picasso, as well as the late Jean Schlumberger. Architect Frank Gehry joined the roster in 2005, and introduced his first collections in 2006. Unlike some luxury brands, which have lost a little sparkle in recent years following their adoption by aspirational or newly wealthy buyers, the Tiffany brand remains resolutely upscale and as a result coasted almost unaffected through the economic downturn of the early 2000s. The recession of 2008/09 proved a little more challenging, but the company bounced back comparatively well after 2010, doubling down on the luxury sector and divesting a small number of lower priced jewellery brands it had acquired. However, for the past few years, the strong dollar has depressed tourist and international sales. As a result topline - which surpassed $4bn for the first time in 2013 - has remained more or less flat. Final revenues for 2017 were under $4.2bn. That contributed to the ousting of CEO Frederic Cumenal in favour of Alessandro Bogliolo. Former Coach designer Reed Krakoff became design director. Together, they have presided over what so far appears to be a strong recovery during 2018. The business was founded 180 years ago in New York by Charles Lewis Tiffany, originally as a fancy goods store, selling costume jewellery and stationery. Already a well-established haunt for wealthy New Yorkers by the mid-20th century, the store was introduced to a wider market by Truman Capote's novella Breakfast At Tiffany's and its subsequent movie adaptation. The Tiffany family sold their remaining shares in the 1950s and the business passed through the hands of several owners (including Avon) until an IPO in the late 1980s. Since then it has increased its store network from just 8 outlets to well over 300.
Capsule checked 26th September 2018
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Who are the competitors of Tiffany? Tiffany's main competitors are the luxury goods groups Richemont, whose brands include Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, and LVMH. See Clothes & Fashion Accessories for other companies
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Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Jul 2017: Tiffany & Co completed its search for a new CEO, five months after the ousting of Frederic Cumenal. Alessandro Bogliolo, leader of upstart denim label Diesel for the past four years, is expected to take up the role at the beginning of October. Before Diesel he spent 16 years at jewellery specialist Bulgari, latterly as COO.
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th February 2017: Only hours after it aired its first TV ad for two decades during the Super Bowl, Tiffany & Co announced the sudden departure of CEO Frederic Cumenal ahead of what are expected to be weak results for 4Q, due for publication next month. Like-for-like sales over the holiday season fell 2% year-on-year. The flagship store in New York - which sits right next to Trump Tower - suffered a 14% drop in holiday sales as a result of the crowds of protesters and supporters who have been loitering outside since last September. Chairman and former CEO Michael Kowalski has stepped back into an executive role on an interim basis pending a fulltime successor. Cumenal's ousting follows the similar removal two weeks ago of design director Francesca Amfitheatrof in favour of Reed Krakoff, formerly of Coach.
Adbrands Weekly Update 27th Feb 2014: Celebrated jeweller Tiffany & Co appointed Ogilvy & Mather to handle global creative following a review, with the account split between the New York and Paris offices.
Adbrands Weekly Update 31st Dec 2013: Jeweller Tiffany & Co lost a long-running dispute with watchmaker Swatch over their failed joint venture to produce Tiffany-branded timepieces. The US company terminated what was originally intended to be a 20-year arrangement after just four years in 2011, prompting a lawsuit from Swatch. An arbitration court ruled that Swatch is owed $500m in damages and lost earnings.
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