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Tiffany's pearls losing their luster

TIFFANY & Co is to shut its five-year-old chain of Iridesse pearl-jewelry shops after it lost money and posted disappointing sales.

Tiffany will close the 16 stores after it reaches agreements with landlords and sells the inventory, spokesman Mark Aaron said on Tuesday.

Abandoning the shops, which sell cultured pearls ranging from US$100 to US$50,000, is Tiffany's third failed attempt to branch out beyond its namesake jewelry stores in recent years, Bloomberg News said.

Iridesse generated less than 1 percent of the New York-based company's total sales of US$2.94 billion in 2007.

Tiffany is due to report its fourth-quarter results on March 23.


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