Consumer Confidential: Tiffany and Costco both have reason to celebrate
Here's your think-twice Thursday roundup of consumer news from around the Web:
--Now here's an economic indicator: Tiffany & Co., the luxury-goods powerhouse, says its quarterly profit more than doubled as consumers went in search of high-high-end jewelry. How high? Tiffany says its sales surge was led by items costing more than $50,000. Looking ahead, the company's chief financial officer, James Fernandez, says he sees "no deterioration in the macro environment or in consumer confidence." In other words, the remains of the recession are crumbling around us -- at least for those who emerged from the downturn with bulging pockets.
--And the good tidings aren't confined to the lofty end of the economic spectrum. Costco and Big Lots both report better-than-expected quarterly profit, thanks to spending sprees by those who may not necessarily have the bucks for some Tiffany bling. "We were very encouraged by the customers' continued focus on a discretionary purchase, whether it was furniture, home, or seasonal-type merchandise," said Big Lots Chief Executive Steven Fishman. All this doesn't mean we're out of the woods. But we're sure acting like the worst is behind us.
-- David Lazarus