Tiffany's CEO: No Haggling Allowed

Tiffany BoxReuters reports that Tiffany & Co is finding more people trying to bargain for lower prices at its stores. They won't be getting a discount. Tiffany & Co CEO Michael Kowalski says, "the price is the price is the price."

Kowalski also said at the Reuters Global Luxury Summit in New York City, ""The final price of a Tiffany piece of jewelry shouldn't be a function of how good a negotiator you are. I think that's a terrible disservice to the vast majority of folks who don't want to negotiate."

It's unclear how effective haggling is at upscale stores. There has not been a lot of reporting about it. It clearly won't work at Tiffany's jewelry stores. Haggling is also becoming more and more unlikely to work at other luxury retailers as many stores have been reducing inventory and are becoming less desperate to move merchandise.

Reuters says Tiffany sales have fallen 22% during the past quarter. However, it notes that investors and analysts agree with the CEO and think discount and haggling would tarnish the brand in the long term even if it helped boost sales in the short term.

Posted on June 11, 2009

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