Since Alessandro Bogliolo took the helm as Tiffany & Co’s Chief Executive in 2017, he’s been seriously ramping up the jeweller’s presence in China. From launching new stores in the mainland to commissioning jewellery inspired by Chinese motifs, CEO Bogliolo’s strategy appears to be working when it reported estimated sales growth of 1 – 3% on 26 December 2019 with growth largely contributed by China. Announced in the week following the re-opening of Tiffany & Co.’s Shanghai flagship at Hong Kong Plaza, Bogliolo officiated the celebrations, commenting to media present that “the Chinese Mainland drove overall sales growth with a strong double-digit increase, offsetting persisting declines in the Hong Kong market.”
The 182-year-old New York jeweller was recently acquired by LVMH as competition in the luxury industry between conglomerates continues to intensify amidst tepid consumer demand in traditional US and Eurozone markets and heated battlegrounds Eastward particularly in China and the Asia Pacific region.
The improvement of Tiffany & Co.’s estimated sales growth is encouraging given that prolonged trade war between the United States and the second largest economy in the world has impacted specialist watch and jewellery brands including Tiffany for the last two years.
The completely renovated Tiffany & Co. Shanghai flagship store boasts a new prominent street facing location and around 10,000 square fee of retail space, almost double its previous boutique within Hong Kong Plaza, making it the largest Tiffany store in North Asia. A transparent, blue-lit glass facade fronts the spacious temple to jewellery, home to haute joallerie like the famed Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger Bird on a Rock, just one of several high-end bijoux ranging from $100,000 to millions. Tiffany’s new Shanghai boutique exhibits contemporary expressions of timeless brand elements, from Amazonite features and white marble detailing, to expansive elegant glass showcases displaying a full range of jewellery. Tiffany & Co’s Shanghai flagship in Hong Kong Plaza stands akin a beacon of hope as net sales for the Nov. 1 to Christmas Eve period rose 5 to 7% in the Asia-Pacific.
“Designed with our clients in mind, this new store is a testament of our commitment to our clientele in Greater China. By expanding our Shanghai flagship store, we continue to grow with this global city,” – Philippe Galtié, Tiffany & Co.’s Executive Vice President of Global Sales
Introducing China’s second Tiffany Blue Box Cafe
A mix of classic and modern aesthetics, Tiffany also introduces an in-store novelty: China’s second Tiffany Blue Box Cafe (the first opened on One Peking Road in Hong Kong). Situated on the upper level of the Hong Kong Plaza flagship, the Tiffany Blue Box Cafe offers a one-of-a-kind dining experience.
“80% of consumers of luxury in China are millennials. I really wanted to bring to China, to Shanghai … the flagship experience you can have in New York.” – Bogliolo to CNN Business Floor-to-ceiling glass windows offer views into the iconic Tiffany Blue dining room, bringing the Tiffany Blue Box experience to life. A glass-enclosed circular opening onto the atrium entrance and a handcrafted two-story chandelier suspended from the carved circular ceiling cove visually connect the cafe with the store below.
The new Tiffany Shanghai flagship brings together cutting-edge technology with sustainable interior design—incorporating special materials and energy-saving elements that make the space LEED compliant, an indistrial benchmark for sustainability and eco-friendliness. Much like Jeff Goldblum’s irrepressible joy at discovering the hidden wonders of the Tiffany Men’s collection pop-up, the new Tiffany & Co Shanghai boutique emphasises playfulness, introducing personalisation counters and Blue Box wrapping stations in addition to the newly launched men’s collections and Home & Accessories lines. McKinsey reported that Chinese shoppers accounted for a third of global consumption on luxury goods to a tune of $115 billion and with the Chinese govt lowering tariffs and taxes to reduce the daigou strategy where travellers imported and sold luxury goods into the mainland, Chinese consumers have been making more purchases at home rather than shopping overseas. Bain reported that Chinese consumers made 27% of their luxury purchases in China in 2018, up from 23% in 2015.