Tiffany & Co. is a holding company that operates through its supporting companies. The company's main subsidiary is Tiffany and Company. Through Tiffany and Company and other subsidiaries, the company is involved in product design, manufacturing and retailing activities.
Besides consumer marketing, Tiffany & Co. is heavily included in business marketing. Tiffany & Co. is actively involved in selling its products through Internet, business-to-business and wholesale operations. It sells its merchandise on the wholesale basis to independent distributors for resale in emerging markets such as the Middle East and Russia. Additionally, the company sells diamonds that are obtained as a wholesale purchase and then resold not being suitable for the company's needs.
There are subsidiaries of the company that process, cut, and polish diamonds at facilities outside the U.S. The company created diamond processing operations that purchase, sort, cut, and polish rough diamonds. The businesses that are involved in these operations are located in countries such as Belgium, Botswana, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa and Vietnam. For example, Namibia is well-known for its gem-quality diamonds, which explains Tiffany's interest in this country for stones. In 2010, Laurelton Diamonds, a division of Tiffany & Co., connected with Namibia Reigh Investments to open a new cutting and polishing plant, which allowed the company to increase its workforce in Namibia. This kind of strategic alliance gives Tiffany & Co. opportunities to access rough diamonds locations reserved for local manufactures.
Despite the fact that the patnership between Tiffany & Co. and the Swatch Group was ended, it is a good example of a strategic partnership. In 2009, Tiffany & Co. signed a 20-year license and distribution agreement with the Swatch Group. According to the agreement, the Swatch Group started a new watchmaking company in Switzerland to design, engineer, manufacture, market, distribute and serve Tiffany & Co. brand watches. The new company was completely owned and controlled by the Swatch Group but was given the right by Tiffany & Co. to use its certain trademarks. Plus, it operated under the Tiffany & Co. name as Tiffany Watch Co., Ltd.