179-year-old Tiffany & Co. has made headlines recently, launching a new ad campaign featuring Lady Gaga - who rocked the Super Bowl halftime show - and quietly dropping CEO Frederic Cumenal. Cumenal was let go due to his inability to turn around the dropping sales figures since taking over in April 2015. As Shelly Banjo writes for Bloomberg Gadfly, Tiffany’s needs to embrace that times are changing and reach beyond its current, traditional, target audience, as it hasn’t managed to appeal to the next generation of consumers.
For example, as Banjo suggests, they could target the growing number of women who are buying jewelry for themselves, rather than focusing on the stereotype of men buying jewels for wives and girlfriends. Men are also increasingly aware of current fashion trends, sparking a growing demand for men’s jewelry, watches and other accessories. The LGBTQ community is also underserved, but with Lady Gaga on board, perhaps the Tiffany HardWear collection is an indication that the company is already making progress in changing its traditional ways. If they wish to attract Chinese Millennials, for instance - who are moving away from their parent’s obsession with western brands and are seeking to individualize their look – it will only be possible if the brand updates its collection more frequently. Furthermore, Banjo emphasizes the company should also focus on e-commerce as its online sales have remained stagnant for the last three years.
Tiffany’s will continue to face certain hurdles that are beyond the company’s control, such as the strong dollar - which deters tourists from purchasing luxury goods - potential border taxes as well the physical barricades blocking the Trump Towers which are located across from the flagship store. The 5th Avenue store accounts for 10% of the company’s sales. In the latest quarter, sales at that store dropped by 14 percent.