Tiffany & Co. announced Tuesday that it will make select items available via designer retail website Net-A-Porter for a limited time, signaling the iconic American jeweler's first efforts to sell online outside of its own site.
Tiffany will begin offering selections from its Tiffany T collection to Net-A-Porter shoppers on April 27.
Tiffany hasn’t reported e-commerce sales in recent quarterly reports; the last time it separated out web and catalog sales was 2013, when it saw 4% growth in the full year. Tiffany revamped its website that same year to feature higher resolution images.
Tiffany has been buffeted by the dollar’s muscle and the slowdown in Asian and global markets, and needs to find more ways to appeal to luxury shoppers, especially younger ones. The retailer has been putting a lot of effort in appealing to younger luxury shoppers, featuring same-sex couples in its advertising and employing new designers. But as many younger consumers are conditioned to look for sales online, Tiffany's reluctance to cut prices may be failing to capture them.
This partnership with Net-A-Porter solves Tiffany’s desire to maintain its stance as a luxe brand: The upscale retail site has managed to sell successfully appeal to online shoppers without resorting to the kind of price reductions that many consumers expect from web commerce.
“Tiffany has been a renowned house of luxury for 179 years, and 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, senior vice president of international sales at Tiffany & Co., said in a statement. “With their recognized edit and fashion authority, Net-A-Porter will re-introduce Tiffany as more than the legendary jeweler, but an expression of personal style.”
While the partnership is limited at the moment, if it proves successful Tiffany would probably not want to leave the Net-A-Porter platform. Tiffany's 2015 holiday season sales including the strong dollar’s effect fell 6%. Without the dollar’s effect, same-store sales in the Americas fell 8% and Asia sales fell 9%.