The retailer says its Fifth Avenue flagship is “open for business,” but analysts fear a drop-off in traffic
Tiffany’s famed 57th Street and Fifth Avenue address is not looking so luxurious as the area near Trump Tower becomes surrounded by security, media, and protestors.
The commotion means shoppers can no longer enter the company’s Manhattan flagship via its Fifth Avenue entrance, which is located right next to Trump Tower. The retailer also canceled a planned holiday-window unveiling, although the annual display was still installed.
This could have a big effect on the retailer, as its Manhattan flagship comprises 10 percent of its U.S. sales. A spokesperson did not answer a query on whether sales have been affected.
“Tiffany is in frequent communication with the New York Police Department and U.S. Secret Service regarding safety and security along the perimeter of our Fifth Avenue flagship,” says spokesperson Nathan Strauss. “We remain open for business with regular hours and welcome customers to enter the store via our 57th Street entrance while any barricades along Fifth Avenue are in place.”
Still, others are worried about a possible spillover.
“Traffic in [nearby] retail stores has dropped significantly,” Tom Cusick, president of the Fifth Avenue Business Improvement District, told Crain’s New York Business. “We’re getting feedback from retailers and some property owners about the difficulty shoppers have accessing the area, they’re concerned and they’re not happy. [It’s] intimidating for many visitors who see a gate and a police officer.” Cusick did not return a phone call from JCK.
Analyst Oliver Chen of Cowen and Company told CNBC that store traffic may be cut in half due to the heightened security.
When asked about the problems experienced by Tiffany, as well as Gucci, which has a store in Trump Tower, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said, “I will not tell you that the problems of Gucci and Tiffany are my central concerns in life”—instantly earning him a New York Post headline (“Slap of Luxury”).
It’s also unclear how long the situation will persist: According to The New York Times, the president-elect “is talking with his advisers about how many nights a week he will spend in the White House. He has told them he would like to do what he is used to, which is spending time in New York when he can.”