NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 05/28/12 -- Growing fears of an economic crisis in Europe has had a significant impact on luxury retailers. "The environment is getting more difficult," SpendingPulse vice president Michael McNamara said in a recent telephone interview. "It doesn't seem that the wealth effect is enough to hold the sector up against economic headwinds." The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in Retail Sector and provides equity research on Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) and Signet Jewelers Ltd. (NYSE: SIG).
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MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse has said that in the U.S. spending on luxury goods have decreased. Jewelry sales had the worst performance falling 3.7 percent in April. All other luxury sales climbed just 1.8 percent in April from a year earlier. Luxury sales in the first quarter had previously gained 6.7 percent, and 13 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011. Growth has been slowed as tourists have restrained from spending as a result of the stronger dollar and growing concerns of Europe's economic troubles, McNamara said.
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Shares of Tiffany & Co. dropped sharply Thursday as the company reduced its full-year expectations. World-wide sales are now predicted to grow 7 percent to 8 percent from down from the previous guidance of 10 percent growth. "The Americas region underperformed, continuing a soft trend that began in the last quarter of 2011 and compounded by the difficult comparison to substantial sales growth in last year's first quarter," said CEO Michael Kowalski.
Signet Jewelers is a specialty retail jeweler by sales in the United States and United Kingdom, and also has stores in the Republic of Ireland and Channel Islands. The company reported sales increased 1.4 percent to $900 million. Yet shares of the company fell as the company sees second quarter earnings per share of $0.78 to $0.84, below analysts' expectations of $0.90.
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