There are few stores as intrinsically associated with New York City as the Tiffany & Co. flagship store on Fifth Avenue. It was through those windows that Audrey Hepburn's Holly Golightly stared as she ate her morning croissant in Breakfast at Tiffany's; there that blue was transformed from mere "robin's egg" to an icon of elegance. And it's there that fan's won't be able to shop—at least for a while.
The company has announced that starting in spring 2019, its 10-floor flagship store will undergo an extensive renovation that's set to take three years and cost at as much as $250 million, according to calculations. That number represents approximately two percent of Tiffany & Co.'s worldwide net sales last year. The renovation will require a temporary closure of the store itself, but Golightlys in waiting don't need to stress—the company will relocate next door to the former Niketown location on Fifth Avenue, so you can still get your hands on those coveted blue boxes.
“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to transform our iconic New York flagship store and create a dramatic new experience for customers,” Alessandro Bogliolo, Tiffany’s chief executive officer, said in a , adding that, "The newly reimagined flagship will serve as the modern crown jewel of our global store network.”
Originally opened in 1940, the 124,000-square-foot building plays a major role in the jeweler's portfolio, accounting for upwards of . Itself an attraction for visitors, it has played host to numerous TV and film shoots including the aforementioned Hepburn classic as well as the Reese Witherspoon rom-com Sweet Home Alabama, and is home to the world-famous Tiffany Diamond, a 287.42-carat yellow diamond on permanent display at the store.
This dramatic shift comes on the heels of a year of significant changes for the 181 year old brand. Since Bogliolo was appointed to the helm last July, the flagship store realized the dream of having breakfast at Tiffany's by unveiling the renovated fourth floor including the all-day Blue Box Cafe, painted , bodegas, and Metrocards in their iconic blue, debuted a , and even placed a Tiffany & Co. vending machine for their fragrance in their London store. All of these maneuvers, it seems, are aimed at revitalizing the brand and bring in a new, younger customer base. Whether or not that bet will pay off? Well, we'll just have to wait until the newly revamped flagship makes its first appearance in late 2021.