Company Profile – Tiffany and Company

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One look at the robin's egg blue signature gift-wrap reveals what may be inside. A bauble from Tiffany and Company has made dreams come true for brides, hostesses and jewelry collectors since 1837.

When Charles Tiffany and John Young first opened the fledgling store in New York City, it was then known as an establishment of fine goods and stationery. Most of the jewelry they offered was of the costume variety but that did not hinder their popularity or success.

The founders deliberately set themselves apart from the beginning. In those days, merchant prices were negotiable and credit sales were common. Tiffany's was among the first to introduce a fixed price tag and cash-only sales, a novel idea in a time when bartering was king. The concept of unsurpassed quality at a set price, although new, was well received. They also established a philosophy of providing exceptional service to customers and watched the demand for their goods increase rapidly.

Once Tiffany and Company had the funding to enter the world of real jewelry, the small retailer would never be the same. They won critical acclaim and awards for their design work in ornate silver and gold flatware, in addition to their acquisition and sales in fine diamond jewelry.

By the time Tiffany's was commissioned to design Abraham Lincoln's inventural collection, the jeweler was a household name synonymous with luxury. The purchase of the infamous 128.54-carat canary yellow Tiffany Diamond, still on display at the flagship store, soon captured worldwide attention. Shortly after, the birth of the immensely popular six-prong diamond setting was born.

Hollywood elite and royalty from around the globe took notice. Tiffany's diamond and jewelry designs became the must-have accessory for some of the wealthiest people in the world. As the diamond business flourished, Charles' son Louis expanded their realm of artistic design by creating decorative glass and windows. He was considered a pioneer in the Art Deco trend of that era. Many of those collections are still so reverted that they are now exhibited in museums internationally.

One of the highlights on its path to iconic status was having a movie title named for the store. The opening scene of Breakfast at Tiffany's shows Audrey Hepburn starring wistfully in the store window. Her character, Holly Golightly, epitomizes the store as the perfect escape fantasy, a place where "few things ever go wrong." Hollywood, like the rest of the country, fell in love with Tiffany's.

If the jeweler was not already a shopping destination for the rich and famous, it had now attained celebrity status in its own right. Tiffany's designed the White House china, under Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency. Society brides followed suit by choosing Tiffany's for engagement rings and subsequently, the ultimate wedding registry. It was one-stop-shopping for wedding bands, exclusive china patterns and high-end silverware.

Today, Tiffany and Company still maintains its sterling reputation among luxury goods retailers. And even though their roots are solidly planted in tradition, new jewelry collections were revamped to appeal to a younger, trendier market. The diamond-studded peace sign pendant set in platinum clearly projects an urban flavor with a high-end feel.

From a socially consensus standpoint, The Tiffany and Co. Foundation has taken a stand in the global community. It advocates for safe and responsible mining, especially in countries where ethical practices have been questionable.

Yet somehow, Tiffany's continues to strike the perfect balance. Expanding into the mass market by adding lines of perfume, scarves and silver trinkets has not hampered business at all. The two billion dollar publicly traded company (NYSE: TIF) is still a stable investment. Attractive quarterly disputes have increased steadily of the last five years.

According to its latest annual report, they operate 167 stores and employ nearly 9,000 people worldwide. This American landmark and international purveyor of luxury goods shows no signs of slowing down anytime in the near future.

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Source by Shelley Cantrelle