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How Tiffany Plans to Sell a Lot More Jewelry

A shopper carries bags from Tiffany & Co. jewelers along 5th Avenue in New York CityA shopper carries bags from Tiffany & Co. jewelers along 5th Avenue in New York City
A shopper carries bags from Tiffany.Photograph by Mike Segar — Reuters

Tiffany & Co (TIF) has found a new partner to spur the growth of its modest e-commerce business: leading online fashion retailer Net-A-Porter.

The New York-based jeweler announced on Tuesday that it would sell select Tiffany items on Net-A-Porter as of April 27. It’s the first time that Tiffany will sell its jewelry online outside of its own website.

Though the companies said the collaboration would last for a limited time, it’s easy to imagine the partnership would be expanded if it works out. The potential benefits for Tiffany are clear: Net-A-Porter sells to shoppers in 170 countries, whereas Tiffany’s e-commerce is available in only 13. (It has stores in 27 countries.)

What’s more, according to Tiffany’s latest annual report, e-commerce has accounted for 6% of company sales in each of the last three years, showing digital sales growth is not outpacing that of stores, an underperformance compared to most of the retail industry.

“Brand collaborations with innovative businesses like Net-A-Porter help ensure that Tiffany’s timeless designs reach a new generation of customers, wherever they are,” Philippe Galtie, Tiffany’s senior vice president of international sales, said in a statement.


Tiffany had hinted last month that such a collaboration was in the works: In its 2015 annual report, the jeweler said it was “evaluating opportunities to expand its e-commerce sites to additional countries in the future.” The partnership will begin with select items from Tiffany’s flagship Tiffany T collection.

The push for new business comes at a tough juncture for Tiffany: The jeweler, famed for its robin’s egg blue boxes and its store on Fifth Avenue, forecast earnings would fall in the first two quarters of the current fiscal year. Last year, worldwide net sales declined 3% to $4.1 billion, hurt by a strong U.S. dollar, low oil prices, and weakening emerging economies, all of which CEO Frédéric Cuménal told investors on Tuesday are something the company may have to “get used to.”