Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Tiffany unlikely to sell lawn chairs


Tiffany & Co has no intention of selling garden furniture and risking brand dilution, steering clear of the product mix of bankrupt rival jeweler Fortunoff , CEO Michael Kowalski hinted this week at the Reuters Global Luxury Summit in New York.

Fortunoff filed for bankruptcy in February in part because of dismal holiday sales in 2008 and the high expense of expanding into Lord & Taylor stores, and was bought by liquidators, marking the end of an 87-year iconic presence in the New York area during which it was known for its jewelry and home furnishing.  It had been bought by Lord & Taylor’s owner NRDC Equity Partners, in March 2008 for $100 million.

Asked if Fortunoff’s demise offered his company any lessons, Kowalski declined to address Fortunoff directly but said it would be better for Tiffany to continue to concentrate on what it is known for.

 ”We are relatively focused on jewelry and watches, ” Kowalski.  “We look at ourselves as a jeweler not a lifestyle brand.”