Will breakfast at Tiffany’s attract Millennials in search of ‘Instagrammable’ experiences?
For the first time since the famed movie that launched Audrey Hepburn’s career arrived in 1961, Tiffany & Co. will be serving breakfast at its Fifth Avenue flagship.
The high-end jeweler has renovated the home and accessories section on the fourth floor to add The Blue Box Café, its first-ever dining concept. Also serving lunch, the café features the chain’s classic robin’s-egg blue motif splayed across the walls, seat covers and plates. The café offers a broad view of Fifth Avenue reaching up to where Central Park begins.
The floor’s renovation is the first major project from Reed Krakoff, who was appointed chief artistic officer in January. Mr. Krakoff is best known as the long-time president and executive creative director for Coach before he launched his own fashion label in 2015.
Mr. Krakoff said in a statement, “The space is experimental and experiential — a window into the new Tiffany.”
Tiffany’s overall sales have slowed in recent years in part because Millennials are said to be seeking out experiences rather than “stuff.” Some feel the café addresses the younger set.
Wrote Kenzie Bryant for Vanity Fair, “Gone is all the masculine wood paneling and stately dark marble (though they remain on the three floors below). In their place is light marble and white walls, full of nooks for exploring and eminently Instagrammable whimsy.”
Barney’s, Saks, Bergdorf Goodman and other nearby flagships have long included restaurants, but Tiffany’s past management might have felt the space was too limited or that fine jewelry browsing was not complemented by dining.
A recent New York Times article recounts how designer and high-end stores are adding or upgrading dining options to drive traffic and make the experience more social and relaxing. The moves are seen to counter the appeal of online shopping.
Designer Todd Snyder told the Times, “A cafe softens the place, making it less about shopping and more about community, where you are eating food, drinking wine, hanging out with your friends. Just a store is boring and you can do this online.”
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is it now more appropriate for Tiffany to add dining to its flagship vs. in the past? How might the café enrich the Tiffany experience? Do you see more upside or downside to high-end stores adding or elevating their dining options?