TIFFANY'S: Trump Tower is killing our business

The heavy security around Trump Tower in New York to protect the president-elect is crushing its neighbours.

The luxury-jewellery retailer Tiffany & Co. on Tuesday said during November and December, sales at US stores open for at least one year fell 4% compared to a year ago.

“Management attributed the lower sales to local customer spending, with a decline in US sales exacerbated by a 14% decline at the company’s flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York, which we attribute at least partly to post-election traffic disruptions,” a statement said.

Trump’s midtown Manhattan residence has drawn protesters, tourists and journalists in their hundreds, which will likely continue for the duration of Trump’s presidency. However, the extra barricades and checkpoints on Fifth Avenue between East 55th and 57th streets turned away clients from various businesses in the area during the crucial holiday shopping season. Tiffany shares the Fifth Avenue side of the block with Trump Tower and Gucci.

Security at Trump Tower is also coming at a cost to New York City. In December, Mayor Bill de Blasio requested $35 million in federal funds to cover the estimated cost of protecting the president-elect between his election and the inauguration. That breaks down to about $500,000 a day.

Tiffany’s CEO Frederic Cumenal said the company did not expect the broader macroeconomic challenges it faced in 2016 to improve this year. Its worldwide comparable-store sales fell 2% year-over-year.

Tiffany’s shares slid by 6% in pre-market trading after the sales update. In the 12 months through Friday January 13, the shares had gained 21%.

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