Alexandre Arnault, the world's wealthiest person's son, announced that Tiffany & Co.'s main shop on New York's Fifth Avenue had reopened and Arnault's son touts high-stakes beton Tiffany NYC flagship.
After a three-year hiatus, the second-eldest son of Bernard Arnault, the wealthy founder of Tiffany parent LVMH, greeted a few select guests and journalists Wednesday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the refurbished store.
Beginning April 28, the general public will be allowed to shop there.
Prior to the acquisition by LVMH, the location accounted for around 10% of Tiffany's sales. The new management hopes that reliance will reduce as the company expands globally.
The flagship, which spans 10 stories and has around 110,000 square feet (10,000 square meters), was totally renovated by architect Peter Marino, who has previously worked on projects with LVMH Mot Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE companies.
Alexandre Arnault, 30, who oversees products and communications at Tiffany, told guests during the opening:
It’s the biggest project for LVMH on the retail side. More than a store, it’s really a landmark — it’s an art gallery, it’s an exhibition space, it’s several restaurants, it’s a private club, it’s everything all at once that we’ve put under the same roof.- Alexandre Arnault
The area features artwork by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Vic Muniz, Daniel Arsham, and Julian Schnabel. Shoppers can take a break at the Blue Box Cafe, which is overseen by celebrity chef Daniel Boulud.
The store will cater to ultra-wealthy clients even more than before, with a special, dedicated section on the 10th floor where they will be able to shop in what feels like an apartment overlooking Central Park.
According to Victoria Reynolds, the store's principal gemologist, the two most costly jewelrypieces initially for sale are a 106-carat colorless diamondand an 80-carat flawless Empire diamond, both sourced in Botswana.
Their costs are available upon request, but they are in the millions of dollars, she continued.
While Tiffany declined to reveal the exact cost of the renovation, Chief Executive Officer Anthony Ledru told Bloomberg last week that it cost hundreds of millions of dollars but stayed under $1 billion.
It is LVMH's largest expenditure in a single store. The $16 billion acquisition of Tiffany by LVMH, finalized more than two years ago, is the greatest in the luxury business.
"LVMH has clearly risen the bar in terms of real estate and store investment," said Aurélie Husson-Dumoutier, an analyst at HSBC, ahead of Wednesday's inauguration.
Demand for high-end items is slowing in the United States, according to LVMH, which reported first-quarter revenues earlier this month. Husson-Dumoutier remarked that LVMH normally invests in brands for the long term.
According to HSBC, the personal-luxury-goods industry will grow 15% this year, but the US will grow at a slower rate, at 7%.
According to HSBC estimates, Tiffany's income has increased and the brand has been more lucrative under LVMH ownership; LVMH does not publish financial results for its individual labels.
Tiffany Debuts Revamped NYC Flagship Store
The corporation has rejuvenated the brand in part by ensuring that it appeals to a broader range of customers with eye-catching advertising campaigns, such as one starring Beyoncé and Jay-Z.
The Tiffany brand before LVMH acquired it was “tired, staid, conservative and dusty,” said Milton Pedraza, head of the Luxury Institute, a consulting firm. “Then, here come the Arnaults.” They’ve elevated an “iconic American brand,” he said.
At the launch on Wednesday, Anna Wintour, the prominent chief content officer at Vogue publisher Condé Nast, was seen conversing with Alexandre Arnault. Actress Gal Gadot, who is a Tiffany brand ambassador, also attended the occasion.
Antoine Arnault, Bernard Arnault's eldest son who controls image and communications at LVMH, was also present. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the Arnault patriarch's wealth is now around $209 billion. His five children are all employed by the company.