Getting to Tiffany & Co.'s (TIF) flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan has been a huge debacle for shoppers since Donald Trump became president-elect a week ago. It means navigating around a labyrinth of street closures, metal barricades and armies of police officers, some in full-SWAT gear, who have tightly blocked access to Trump Tower, which, unfortunately for Tiffany's, is located next door. When more than 5,000 protesters were added to the mix last weekend, the street closures widened, where no one was permitted access to the retail store unless personally escorted in by a Tiffany rep.
All of this has Tiffany investors and market experts worried.
"How can it not affect them?" asked Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates Inc., a retail consulting and investment banking firm. "You can't go on the block sometimes - how are you going to go in the store?" Davidowitz has a birds-eye view of the kerfuffle as he's lived in Trump Tower for 22 years.
And since much of the luxury jewelry retailer's sales come during the holiday season, any disruption could hurt Tiffany's top and bottom lines.
"There's no question that the fourth quarter for Tiffany's is very important because of the gifting aspect of what they do," said Jim Leventhal, chief executive of Leventhal Asset Management.
Although Tiffany is a global company, it gets more than 10% of its sales revenue from its Fifth Avenue flagship store. "It's upwards of 10% of total company sales and upwards of 20% of domestic sales - it's big," said Brian Nagel, a managing director at Oppenheimer & Co.