FINANCE

Tiffany Q2 profit jumps 33%, to open 17 stores

BY Katherine Boccaccio

New York City — Supporting continued strength in the luxury sector, Tiffany & Co. reported Friday that profit for the quarter ended July 31 soared 33% to $90 million, from $67.7 million a year earlier. Results surpassed Wall Street estimates, and the jewelry retailer raised its full-year profit outlook.

Revenue surged 30% in the quarter, to $872.7 million, beating analysts’ expected $785.6 million. Same-store sales jumped 22%.

"We are extremely pleased by these results which confirm the growing global appeal of Tiffany’s product offerings," chairman and CEO Michael Kowalski said in a statement.

Global strength was apparent in the retailer’s quarterly results. In the Americas, revenue rose 25% to $438.2 million, but that performance was bested even by the Asia-Pacific where sales jumped 55%, and in Europe, where sales gained 32%.

The retailer said it plans to open 17 company-operated stores between now and fiscal year-end Jan. 31, 2012, which includes six in the Americas, three in Europe and eight in the Asia-Pacific. One store in Japan is slated for closure.

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China: Do Your Homework First

BY CSA STAFF

From Gap and Coach to Best Buy and Starbucks, retailers across the board are looking to high-growth emerging markets to expand their business and increase revenues. Not surprisingly, China is a prime — if not the No. 1 — target of many retailers.

A recent study by global management consulting company A.T. Kearney ranked China as the most attractive emerging market for apparel retailers. The country’s first place ranking was driven by the country’s large population, the growing disposable income of the middle class and Chinese consumers’ developing fashion sense.

But while China holds great opportunity, it also offers U.S. retailers considerable challenges, including risk of counterfeiting and significant differences in the country’s infrastructure, culture and consumer preferences, according Liana Hill, a market analyst for Gap Intelligence, San Diego. She advises that a little research and maybe even some rebranding can go a long way for retailers seeking success in China.

Hill’s insights on the challenges of doing business in China make for a good read. She is featured in our Guest Commentary section.

Click here for past As I See It entries.

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Viking cooks up a deal with Emeril Lagasse

BY CSA STAFF

RIDGELAND, Miss. — Viking Culinary Group announced that it has introduced a new line of branded outdoor grills from celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse.

Products in the Emeril grill line include:

  • The Emeril Charcoal Grill, constructed of porcelain-enameled heavy-gauge steel, features four sturdy legs instead of three, ensuring stability and safety. The hinged lid lifts and stays open and an integrated numerical thermometer displays approximate grill temperatures from 0 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. The hinged grate provides easy and neat access to the charcoal, allowing the user to arrange briquettes for optimum heat placement. Other features include a more-than-ample 424 sq. inches of cooking surface, a sturdy storage shelf and a large-capacity, easily removable ash collector.

  • The Emeril Gas Grill, built from rugged stainless steel and heavy-duty cast aluminum components, is designed to withstand the elements and provide years of grilling enjoyment. Four powerful burners provide up to 48,000 BTUs of searing heat, evenly distributed over 589 sq. inches of cooking surface, dwarfing the competition. Seven stainless steel flavor generator plates catch drippings to create more smoke and smokier flavor, and also channel grease neatly into the removable drip tray for easier cleanup. Convenient extras like condiment and paper towel storage, accessory tool hooks, and locking rubber wheels combine to take backyard performance to the next level.

  • The Emeril Bam! B-Q, fully constructed of heavy duty stainless steel, uses indirect heat from an upper and lower charcoal ring to create a convection current that circulates within the cooking cylinder. This current causes meat to cook quickly and evenly within the cylinder. The unit comes with three cooking grates, which create 398 sq. inches of cooking surface; a rib hanger, which accommodates 6 racks of ribs; a poultry stand, which can hold a 24 lb. turkey; and a drip pan for easier cleanup.

"I have known Fred Carl and the folks at the Viking Culinary Group for a very long time and we’ve always shared a commitment to quality and passion for grilling," said Lagasse. "The design of these grills was something I was involved with every step of the way. These babies offer a grilling experience like you’ve never had before."

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