March 1, 2002
Tiffany & Co. 2001 Sales Fall
Tiffany & Co. 's U.S. retail sales dropped 6% for the year ended Jan. 31, 2002, when compared to the previous year, with a 1% decline in the fourth quarter. Comparable store sales declined 8% for the year and 3% in the fourth quarter.
For Tiffany's flagship store in New York City, sales fell 15% from the year prior and 13% in the fourth quarter, following the Sept. 11 attacks. The rest of its U.S. stores saw comparable store sales drop 6% for the year but held steady in the fourth quarter compared to the same time last year.
The company attributed sales declines to a smaller average-transaction size as well as less traffic, especially after Sept. 11 in tourist areas.
Net sales worldwide for the year were down 4% from the year before, the company said. Sales for the quarter were down just 2%. Net earnings were down 9% from the year prior. The company said both sales and earnings reached record levels, however, in 2000.
"These results demonstrate our ability to efectively manage through a challenging retail environment," said Michael J. Kowalski, president and CEO. Kowalski praised the company's prudent managing of expenses, its maintenance of a long-term focus and its ongoing commitment to exceptional products and service.
"Tiffany enjoys the prospect of considerable long-term growth and our balance sheet gives us the financial strength to make that happen. In 2002, we will continue to open new stores in the U.S., Japan and other international markets at the pace we have established. We will complement new jewelry introductions with an exciting new collection of Tiffany & Co. watches," said Kowalski. "Our plans are premised upon an improvement in the second half of 2002.