The origins of American international retailing: Tiffany of New York in London and Paris, 1837-1914

Nicholas Alexander, Anne Marie Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
124 Downloads (Pure)


This article considers the international retailing activities of Tiffany of New York between 1837 and 1914. Using data from the company archive alongside other sources, the article considers the firm’s international retail operation from entry stage merchant buying activity through to the establishment of modern retailing facilities. The findings indicate five factors were determinants of sustainable international retailing: a centralized organizational structure, a stable ownership structure, existing international engagement, a strong brand identity, and a relevant international retail format. Placing Tiffany’s activities in its wider commercial and consumer context, the findings illustrate the organizational changes and asset combination required to support the development of early international retail operations. The article contributes to theoretical understanding of the dynamics of retail internationalization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-328
Number of pages27
JournalBusiness History Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2017


  • international retailing
  • Tiffany of New York
  • brand
  • nineteenth century
  • organizational structure
  • international engagement
  • brand identity
  • ownership structure
  • internationalization


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