Tiffany’s holiday season even worse than it predicted

Tiffany <><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>& Co. already warned in January that sales during the holiday were weak. It turned out that demand for jewelry and other bling in the company’s trademark blue boxes was a bit worse than what investors expected./ppShares of Tiffany fell 5% in early trading after the company reported that sales for its fourth quarter were a bit below the a href=”″ target=”_blank”already-lowered forecasts/a. They bounced back after market open, though, and were up about 3% in early trading./ppThe company blamed a drop off in tourist spending in the United States and Europe for the shortfall./ppSales at stores open at least a year were down 1% during the quarter. Tiffany said in its earnings release Friday that it’s not expecting things to improve anytime soon./ppThe company hinted that earnings in the first half of this year will be down from the same period in 2018 because of a stronger US dollar hurting sales, as well as a continuation of lower foreign tourist spending./ppTiffany CEO Alessandro Bogliolo expressed hope that demand will turn around, suggesting that the company’s issues were about macroeconomic problems and not anything the company was doing wrong./ppHe blamed “external challenges and uncertainties” for the sluggish holiday sales, adding that he continues to “strongly believe that Tiffany has vast global growth opportunities.”/ppTo that end, Tiffany has been doing much better in Asia as of late. The company said Friday that sales were up 13% in Asia-Pacific for the full year thanks to solid demand in mainland China and South Korea. Sales in Japan rose nearly 10% last year as well./ppBut Bogliolo, who a href=”” target=”_blank”joined Tiffany as CEO/a in the summer of 2017, faces a bigger challenge than international expansion. He has been trying to revamp the company’s image in order to woo more younger Millennial shoppers in the United States and across the globe./ppThe company has introduced a new HardWear line of jewelry, describing it as something that “captures the spirit and energy of New York City.” Tiffany tapped Lady Gaga to promote it./ppBut Tiffany’s recent struggles show that the company still has a ways to go in its turnaround efforts. And the stock, while up more than 20% this year, has lagged the performance of the broader market and other retailers since Bogliolo took over./p