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Iconic luxury jewelry and specialty retailer, Tiffany & Co. is synonymous with style and taste.

First established in 1837, it has achieved world-wide acclaim through its prestigious diamond and sterling silver jewelry designs, its famed clientele of Hollywood stars, European royalty, and celebrity athletes, and its flagship corner store on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in New York City.

A uniquely American institution, Tiffany & Co. was also the nation’s first school of design, the originator of the modern engagement ring, and the company asked to create commemorative designs ranging from the Congressional Medal of Honor to the NFL’s Vince Lombardi trophy.

In every endeavor, Tiffany strives to achieve the highest quality standards to delight customers. This includes offering a modern luxury that falls outside the company’s usual expertise.

The Challenge

For Tiffany & Co. reliable cellular connectivity is an important part of the in-store experience.

When it comes to high-end purchases, today’s shoppers value second opinions from friends or family before making a final purchase — something made possible in real time with smartphones.

Others enjoy documenting and posting their store visit on social media. Sometimes, a call to a bank might be needed to approve a charge on a card or authorize a large, lavish purchase.

Some may argue that the availability of WiFi could address such modern customer needs.

However, access to Tiffany’s complimentary WiFi network requires a guest login—not exactly a convenient option for every customer. For the retailer itself, cellular connectivity also provides a more secure platform for payment portals and POS systems compared to WiFi.

Unfortunately, like with many other retailers, strong and reliable cellular signal was not always available at Tiffany. The majority of its stores are located in shopping centers and malls — constructed using brick, steel, concrete, safety mesh, low-E glass, and rebar. While these materials enhance security and energy efficiency, they diminish or completely block the cell signals from making it inside.

One of Tiffany’s 93 U.S. stores, in particular, was experiencing major problems with maintaining cell signal. Since it was also a high-volume location, resolving the issue became a top priority.

Solutions to overcome weak or nonexistent cell signal had been considered before. However, they had always been cost prohibitive, time intensive, and required pre-approval. Worst of all, they would only address  the store’s problematic cell signal issues for a single carrier.

Tiffany & Co. sought a more comprehensive solution.

“Their primary focus was two-fold: creating a better customer experience, making everything as high-end as possible and improving the safety aspect,” said Scott LeFebvre, president of A/COE Communications Corp., who has been the telecommunications infrastructure provider for the jeweler for more than twenty years.

The Solution

LeFebvre and his team turned to WilsonPro as it offered them a proven solution for enhancing cell signal coverage that was FCC-certified and pre-approved by all the major U.S. carriers—all at 25% of the cost of other solutions that would only improve cell signal for one carrier.

Like many of its locations, this store featured delicate finishes and expensive artwork that could impede cable runs and antenna placement, so the facilities department had to handle all of the installations under the guidance of LeFebvre and A/COE Communications Corp. However, the process went smoothly, and was completed in a matter of days, rather than weeks, without causing a major disruption to in-store traffic.

The Results

Not only was the  installation completed on schedule, but the improvements to in-building cell signal coverage were experienced immediately throughout the store. Customers and employees were no longer complaining about cell signal. Everyone could call and text easily — regardless of their carrier.

According to LeFebvre, the transformation inside the store was “the closest thing to magic.”

“It’s amusing how many users are skeptical and then all of a sudden it works instantly. It’s a great reaction,” said LeFebvre, who added that the lack of complaints from customers and employees have been the best form of positive feedback.

Today, over 95% of Tiffany & Co. stores have a WilsonPro solution. And now every new store has a WilsonPro Repeater System installed before it ever opens its doors to customers.

Want to learn how WilsonPro can help improve the customer experience in your retail store? Reach out to our team today.

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