TIFFANY TO STOP WHOLESALING IN EUROPE

NEW YORK — In another step to gain control over all its distribution channels, Tiffany & Co. on Thursday said it would discontinue wholesaling in Europe.
The move is effective July 1.
The upscale jeweler in January discontinued wholesaling to independent jewelers and department stores in the U.S.
“This decision reflects our strategy to maintain tight control over the distribution of our products and our brands, as well as our focus on company-operated stores,” said James E. Quinn, vice chairman of Tiffany, in a statement.
Tiffany started wholesale distribution in Europe 10 years ago and currently sells jewelry, gifts and watches to 146 stores in 15 countries.
European wholesale volume totaled less than 1 percent of Tiffany’s net sales and has failed to achieve the company’s financial objectives, Quinn noted. He said the company did not expect any financial impact on Tiffany’s earnings.
Tiffany has been rapidly expanding its retail store base as well as its e-commerce capabilities. The firm now operates 138 stores, including 38 in the U.S., and sells merchandise on its Web site, Tiffany.com.
The U.S. and Europe were Tiffany’s largest wholesale markets, although the firm still has some wholesale accounts in Canada and other areas, a spokesman said.

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