Tiffany Sends An Ominous Warning About Wall Street And The New York Economy


Declining bonuses on Wall Street may have pushed Tiffany & Co.’s American operations lower, as city residents kept their purse strings and wallets closed.

The jeweler reported that comparable Americas sales, which includes the U.S., Canada, and Latin America, grew 2% for the two-month holiday period.

Growth for the region was stymied by a 1% fall in same-store sales at Tiffany’s flagship location on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street.

“Higher sales to tourists from outside the U.S. were partly offset by weakness in spending by U.S. customers,” the company said in a statement this morning.

Based on figures provided by the company, the New York flagship represents more than 20% of total Americas sales (a conservative estimate), which inched up 4% over the period to $503 million.

Already, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will reportedly take an axe to bonuses and pay, with some  fixed-income traders at Goldman receiving no bonus.

A report this morning from Bloomberg’s Jeffrey McCracken and Christine Harper notes that other firms, including Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank, are considering cuts to junior banker pay. Those changes to pay would hurt Tiffany’s entry-level product offerings, including sales of men’s cuff links and women’s key necklaces, where retail prices start near $195.

The Fifth Avenue location is one of two in the city, the other is near the New York Stock Exchange at 37 Wall Street. However, Tiffany’s retail front in midtown is much larger and holds the company’s full collections.

Shares in Tiffany are off more than 9% in pre-market trading.