Tiffany To Open First Store In Moscow

Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) plans to open a store in Moscow's Red Square, which will be the luxury chain's first wholly owned store in Russia, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday (June 3).

The two-level, 4,500-square-foot store will be housed within the GUM luxury shopping complex, and plans are for it to open by the spring of 2014. The chain's jewelry is already sold through several authorized retailers in Moscow, but the Red Square store will be the first to bear Tiffany's name.

Tiffany's Moscow expansion comes at a time when the jeweler's home turf of Fifth Avenue in New York City is filling with non-U.S.-based luxury retailers, many of which concentrate on selling to foreign tourists. Flipping that approach by bringing the full Tiffany experience to Moscow may be what the chain has in mind with the new store.

However, the Red Square store was also announced just weeks after fellow luxury chain Neiman Marcus said it is pulling out of China and will sell into that huge market only via e-commerce.

But Tiffany is no stranger to non-U.S. markets—it currently has about 150 of them—and with the Moscow store, the retailer is hedging its bets. The GUM complex has been one of the prime tourist shopping locations in Moscow since 2005 (GUM is usually described as a "department store" but looks much more like a high-end U.S. shopping mall). And for once, Tiffany has a reasonably accurate gauge of how much of a market there is for its goods, since the chain knows exactly how much merchandise it has been providing to its authorized retailers.

For more:

- See this Wall Street Journal story
- See this photo of the GUM mall.

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