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Tiffany blames Chinese tourists’ spending slump for poor growth

11/29/2018| 9:32:14 AM|

While Chinese tourists aren’t spending as much in Tiffany’s major stores like the flagship in New York, the company does see more opportunities for mainland China.

Earlier Wednesday, Tiffany reported weaker-than-expected sales on a same-store basis in all regions except Asia-Pacific. The New York-based company said growth was limited by lower spending among Chinese travelers in the U.S., Hong Kong, and Korea. 

Executives said on a conference call with analysts that they see a “clear pattern” in Chinese shoppers slowing spending outside of the mainland, due to the government’s efforts to foster local consumption. Domestic spending on Tiffany products rose last quarter.

While this may hurt sales elsewhere, Bogliolo said this creates an opportunity in China.

“Exactly when the sales to Chinese tourists slowed, we went from double-digit growth to much stronger double-digit growth in mainland China,” said Bogliolo. “This is telling me Tiffany is relevant to Chinese consumers.”

Wall Street’s focus is on Chinese tourists. Brian Tunick, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets, said he was “somewhat disappointed” although “not completely surprised” by the sales slowdown in the third quarter. He predicted shares will underperform until Chinese spending improves.

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TAGS: Tiffany | Chinese tourists
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