Tiffany to Open Pearl Jewelry Stores

May 7, 2004

Tiffany to Open Pearl Jewelry Stores

Tiffany & Co. will open retail jewelry stores focused exclusively on pearls and pearl jewelry called Iridesse. Two of the new stores will open this fall. The first will be at the Tysons Galleria Mall in McLean, VA, and will be approximately 1,300 square feet. Details of the second store will be announced when the lease is finalized. Four additional Iridesse stores are planned to open in 2005 and within five years 20 stores are planned. The stores will not carry Tiffany brand jewelry.

Iridesse is coming onto the retail scene as pearl jewelry sales are rapidly expanding due to fashion's embrace of the category as essential complements to apparel styles.

Iridesse stores will showcase a wide range of pearl types, including South Sea, Tahitian, Akoya and freshwater. Tiffany hopes the assortment will "both celebrate the classic styling of the traditional pearl strand and generate excitement through the creative use of the enormous variety of pearl shapes and colors in everyday/casual pearl jewelry collections." Approximate price points will range from slightly under $100 to $40,000.

Robert L. Cepek, a Tiffany veteran, will be president of the new stores. He was most recently vice president and general manager of Tiffany's New York City flagship store. "Through Iridesse, we hope to establish a position of authority and merchandising leadership in this fragmented, underdeveloped jewelry category," said Michael J. Kowalski, Tiffany's chairman and CEO. "We believe there is an important opportunity to present pearls and pearl jewelry in an innovative, exciting new retail format."

by Michael Thompson

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