Tiffany & Co. has finally engaged with the Pittsburgh market.
The New York chain yesterday announced plans to put a 5,700-square-foot store in Ross Park Mall with an October opening timed to take advantage of excitement generated by the opening of the region's first Nordstrom department store there.
The jewelry company, which has about 70 stores in the United States in addition to more than 100 locations scattered around the world, was a well-known brand long before moviemakers turned Truman Capote's novel, "Breakfast at Tiffany's," into a film starring Audrey Hepburn.
A timeline on its Web site claims President Abraham Lincoln gave his wife jewelry from Tiffany's. Pittsburghers might be more interested to note the site also claims the jeweler designed the trophy awarded at the first Super Bowl in 1967.
Whether the modern company that trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TIF will bring a whiff of New York glamour or, like Macy's department stores, prove less romantic in the suburbs remains to be seen.
For several years, local elected officials have been dropping the retailer's name and that of Crate & Barrel as an example of the type of upscale, distinctive merchants they wouldn't mind luring Downtown.
Nordstrom, another chain long coveted by urban planners, tapped Ross Park Mall for its first store in the market in part because Indianapolis mall owner Simon Property Group promised to improve the 1.2 million-square-foot shopping center. A Cheesecake Factory restaurant has since opened outside the mall and there are plans for additional stores or restaurants nearby.
Even before opening its doors, Nordstrom may be living up to mall officials' predictions that the Seattle retailer would be a magnet both for shoppers and for other tenants. The new jewelry store will take a spot in the hall outside the department store now under construction.
"Ross Park Mall is a premier destination for shopping and we have a prime location within what will be an expanded center with a spacious environment," said Beth O. Canavan, executive vice president of Tiffany, in a prepared statement.
Teresa F. Lindeman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 412-263-2018.