• Kyodo

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U.S. luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. said Wednesday it has renewed its contract with department store operator Mitsukoshi Ltd., which will allow it to open shops in Tokyo outside Mitsukoshi stores beginning this fall.

Under the new contract, to expire Jan. 31, 2007, Tiffany will be unrestricted in its expansion of Tokyo operations and will be able to seek a bigger share of the Japanese jewelry market, it said.

Currently, all Tiffany outlets in Tokyo except one are located within Mitsukoshi stores.

Of Tiffany’s 47 selling locations in Japan, Mitsukoshi is currently responsible for 27, including all locations in Tokyo, which constitute 16 percent of Tiffany’s net sales.

Sales in Japan made up 28 percent of Tiffany’s net sales in fiscal 2000.

“Tiffany and Mitsukoshi have maintained a very special business relationship since 1972 when Mitsukoshi first introduced the Tiffany & Co. brand to Japanese consumers,” said Michael Kowalski, president and chief executive officer of Tiffany. “We are confident that our new arrangements will result in continued profitable growth for both companies in the years to come.”

The new contract “largely continues the principles on which Mitsukoshi and Tiffany have been cooperating since 1993, when the relationship was last renegotiated,” Tiffany said.

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