Other WSJ article info below and, Initial launch is in 12 U.S. stores, and then the new bag collection will take up display space in stores that have been vacated by tabletop china and silver. Tiffany says it has been trimming down its selection of tableware, which also includes crystal, for a "number of years." For example, there are fewer china patterns offered today than five years ago.
Trimming Down Tableware The company has also been removing tableware—a bulky product that takes up shelf and display space—from its stores, leaving its full run available on its website, says Mark Aaron, Tiffany vice president of investor relations. Newer, smaller stores don't have any of the tabletop collection.
"That's not a robust category like it was decades ago, when everybody came in and registered for their place settings and their silver flatware," says Mr. Aaron.
"As lives become more casual," says Mr. King, "we, of course, adapt to that."
Handbags start at $395 for a small suede tote and rocket up to $17,500 for a large crocodile handbag.
Roughly 90% of the luxury chain's sales remain in jewelry. The biggest share of Tiffany's total sales of $2.71 billion last year, 31%, came from its lowest-priced merchandise category—sterling silver jewelry with no gemstones and an average price of $200, according to the company's most recent annual report. Bridal jewelry, including diamond rings and wedding bands with an average price of $3,300, made up about a fifth of all sales.
Tiffany has tried small collections of handbags before, most recently in the mid-1990s with a line created by in-house designers, but this will be its first full assortment. Jon King, Tiffany's executive vice president in charge of merchandising and marketing, says the new line was sparked by the availability of Messrs. Lambertson and Truex.