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Tiffany’s Little Blue Box: Does It Have Any Strategic Significance?

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1. What are the strategically relevant factors of the macro-environment that affect the attractiveness of the U.S. jewelry industry? Specifically, are general and industry economic conditions and socio-cultural factors favorable to Tiffany & Co.’s business situation?

2. How strong are the competitive forces confronting Tiffany & Co. and other retail jewelers? Which one of the five competitive forces is the strongest? Do a five-forces analysis to support your answer.

3. What key factors will determine a company’s success in jewelry retailing in the next 3-5 years?

4. What is Tiffany & Co.’s strategy? Which of the five generic competitive strategies discussed in Chapter 5 most closely fit the competitive approach that Tiffany & Co. is taking? What type of competitive advantage is Tiffany trying to achieve?

5. What does a SWOT analysis for Tiffany & Co. reveal about its ability to seize market opportunities and nullify external threats?

6. What is your appraisal of Tiffany & Co.’s financial performance based on the data in case Exhibit 1? How do the company’s EBIT margins compare for the 2006 – 2011 period? Is there evidence that Tiffany’s strategy is working?

7. Does Tiffany have adequate competitive strength to defend its position in the industry? Do a weighted competitive strength assessment using the methodology presented in Table 4.4 of Chapter 4 to support your answer.

8. What strategic issues and problems does Tiffany & Co. management need to address?

9. What recommendations would you make to Tiffany & Co. management to strengthen the company’s competitive position and future strategic and financial performance?

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