Tiffany's US holiday sales growth weakens

January 10, 2012 - 8:45 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. says its sales growth weakened in the U.S. and Europe during the holiday season, raising fears that the wealthy may be beginning to rein in spending.

The company known for its iconic turquoise box cut its yearly guidance. Its shares fell more than 7 percent in premarket trading.

Total sales rose 7 percent to $952 million in November and December, helped by a 19 percent jump in the Asia-Pacific region.

But in the U.S., revenue in stores open at least one year rose just 2 percent. The measure is considered a key gauge of a retailer's performance.

Higher sales to tourists in the U.S. were offset by weaker spending by U.S. customers. Online and catalog sales were a particularly weak spot. Revenue fell 4 percent in that category.