FINANCE

Tiffany net earnings sparkle in Q2

BY Staff Writer

New York – Tiffany & Co. grew its net earnings 16% during the second quarter of fiscal 2013, and also increased net sales and same-store sales. Net earnings increased 16% to $107 million, from $92 million in the same quarter a year earlier.

In addition, worldwide net sales rose 4% to $926 million while same-store sales grew 5% due to growth in most regions. In the Americas region, total sales increased 2% to $444 million in the second quarter and total sales in the Asia-Pacific region rose 20% to $208 million. The negative impact of currency translation due to a weakened yen caused total sales to decline 14% to $136 million in Japan, but without currency impact total sales in Japan would have risen 7%.

In addition, total sales in Europe rose 11% to $111 million in the second quarter and other sales increased 33% to $26 million, primarily reflecting the conversion in July 2012 of five stores in the United Arab Emirates from independently operated to company-operated.

"Total sales growth met our objective due to solid performance in most regions, and with particular strength in our statement and fine jewelry product categories,” said Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and CEO of Tiffany. “We were pleased with the results of our efforts to improve gross margin which, combined with well-controlled expenses, yielded a solid increase in operating margin."

Looking ahead, Tiffany sees the addition of a net of 14 company-operated stores. This includes opening six stores in the Americas, seven in Asia-Pacific and three in Europe, and closing one each in Asia-Pacific and Japan.

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OPERATIONS

Levi’s in management shuffle

BY Staff Writer

San Francisco — Levi’s announced several management changes in an effort to drive innovative product and consumer engagement campaigns around the globe.

Jennifer Sey, the current senior VP of e-commerce, will become the global chief marketing officer for the Levi’s brand.

Karyn Hillman is joining the company in the newly created position of chief product officer for the Levi’s brand. In this role, Hillman will be responsible for developing innovative product assortments and creating compelling product stories across the men’s and women’s businesses worldwide. Hillman was most recently the global head of product creation at Calvin Klein jeans and accessories.

Grant Barth, current head of the men’s merchandising team for the Levi’s brand, will take the newly created position of chief merchandising officer. Barth joined the company in early 2013 from Nike, Inc. where he led global merchandising efforts across many categories, including sportswear, running and technical outerwear.

Jonathan Cheung, current VP of merchandising for men’s tops, will be the new head of design for the Levi’s brand. In this role, he will be responsible for both the men’s and women’s design teams and will report to Hillman.

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News

Diet Coke T-shirts hit U.S. Target shelves

BY CSA STAFF

ATLANTA — Diet Coke is launching a limited-edition T-shirt available exclusively in Target stores.

The T-shirt is the winning design from the second season of the Diet Coke Young Designer Challenge. Part of the brand’s “Stay Extraordinary” platform, the challenge required participants to create an original T-shirt design inspired by Taylor Swift’s style and people who drink Diet Coke. Hundreds of designs from across the country were submitted.

“Diet Coke is more than just the great-tasting smart boost staple in the lives of fashionistas. It’s the ultimate accessory,” said Caroline Kibler, senior brand manager for Diet Coke. “The brand is synonymous with style, and fashion-focused programs like the Young Designer Challenge put the extraordinary talents of our fans in the spotlight.”

A public vote on social media in June narrowed submissions down to 10 finalists, and a panel of judges, led by designer Rebecca Minkoff, selected the winner: a creation from Brooklyn-based Julianna Bass. Bass edged out the competition with a sketch of a self-assured woman in a dramatically flaring red skirt leaning on a Diet Coke logo.

Bass’s design also won the popular vote online. Of the more than 135,000 votes submitted during the public voting phase, Bass’s design stood out as the clear frontrunner from the beginning.

“The new Diet Coke T-shirt is a refreshing take on the classic white tee,” said Minkoff. “Julianna’s design perfectly captures the energy and boost that Diet Coke provides.”

In addition to having her design sold in the beverage aisle in all U.S. Target stores beginning Sept. 1, she received a $10,000 cash prize to pursue creative endeavors and a fly-away trip to meet Swift at one of her final U.S. Red Tour stops in Nashville, Tenn., next month.

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