In the latest confirmation that the global aspirational consumer has hit a spending wall, Tiffany’s stock plunged this morning after the company's latest earnings confirmed that its revitalization efforts hit a pothole in Q3 as the luxury jewelery retailer's new designs and marketing failed to lure enough shoppers entering the critical holiday period. The shares fell as much as 13% in the pre-market.
While Tiffany reported Q3 EPS of 77 cents that matched consensus estimates, net sales of $1.01 billion missed estimates of $1.05 billion, but what disappointed traders was the miss in Q3 same-store sales which rose just 3% on a constant currency basis, falling far short of the average estimate of 5.6%, and a significant slowdown from the last two quarters' growth rate.
Broken down by region, the growth slowdown was pervasive:
Tiffany cited “mixed results” in parts of Asia, and noted "lower-than-expected spending in the third quarter attributed to Chinese tourists in the U.S. and Hong Kong and lower wholesale travel-retail sales in Korea."
The comments were similar to those made over the last couple of months by European luxury companies like Kering, Moncler, and will heighten already rising concerns in the luxury industry about the health of Chinese spending amid reports of a customs crackdown on unauthorized imports, which one month ago led to a near record plunge in share of LVMH.
As Bloomberg notes, the jeweler enters the crucial holiday season in need of a boost, with CEO Alessandro Bogliolo and head designer Reed Krakoff seeking to re-imagine the 181-year-old jeweler to appeal to younger shoppers, but the results show work remains to be done.
Meanwhile, in an attempt to boost its appeal, the company ramped up marketing spend heading into the holidays with selling, general and administrative expenses rising 15% in the quarter as Tiffany brought on younger celebrities, such as Elle Fanning and Maddie Ziegler, to represent the brand in its advertising.
That was not enough, however, and this morning the stock tumbled over 13%, dropping the lowest level since April.