Chinese shoppers are spending more at home. Tiffany has big plans to cash in
“We lost probably a decade of opportunity,” Bogliolo told CNN Business on Thursday.
Bogliolo called ramping up Tiffany’s presence in China one of his first major decisions as chief executive. Since he took the helm in 2017, Bogliolo has opened several new stores within the mainland, commissioned new jewelry inspired by Chinese designs, set up an online shopping platform in Chinese, and ordered a massive overhaul of the company’s flagship store in Shanghai, which has roughly doubled in size to become the company’s biggest outlet in Asia.
Bogliolo was at that store Thursday to mark its reopening, and he spoke with CNN Business while clutching a shimmering, nine-carat diamond ring. The piece is just one of several high-end jewels — which range in price from $100,000 to tens of millions of dollars each — that Tiffany is now selling in China.
This time, Tiffany is determined not to get left behind. The emerging trend has prompted the company to move some of its most expensive inventory to China, Bogliolo said. In an attempt to woo established jewelry collectors, high-end pieces that until recently were only shown in China for exhibitions or other events will now be part of the Shanghai store’s permanent collection, according to Bogliolo.
The company is also trying to win over young Chinese shoppers by building a Blue Box Cafe in its Shanghai store. The signature eatery will soon be open to anyone who wants to have breakfast, lunch or dinner at Tiffany’s.
“80% of consumers of luxury in China are millennials,” Bogliolo said. “I really wanted to bring to China, to Shanghai … the flagship experience you can have in New York.”
Hong Kong has long been one of the capitals of the luxury world, “and I think it will remain as such,” he added.
Bogliolo pointed out that Tiffany recently made a “huge investment” in its Hong Kong flagship store, which is one of the company’s biggest outlets in the region.
The historic deal was “a good sign” of confidence in Tiffany that confirmed the merits of its strategy, said Bogliolo.
Asked about his own future, Bogliolo was more reticent. LVMH has not said whether it will retain the company’s management team after the deal closes in mid-2020, and the CEO demurred when asked if he would stay on.
“You should ask the shareholders,” he said, with a smile.