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Tiffany & Co. To Call Workers Back To Offices Next Month After LVMH Acquisition

727 Fifth Ave. in Manhattan, the headquarters of Tiffany & Co.

The parent company of one of New York’s most famous jewelers will require its workers to come back to the office just under a year after a pandemic was declared last March, but far before it has abated.

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton said Tiffany & Co. employees must return to work in the office two days per week on March 1, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The two-day-a-week schedule is used in France where the parent company is headquartered, WSJ reported. LVMH acquired Tiffany officially last month after months of back-and-forth over its initial $16.2B takeover bid, and wants workers back in the office to facilitate the change, according to an LVMH memo WSJ obtained.

This comes as the city’s coronavirus infection rate hovered around 9% for the past month, according to city data. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that a British-born strain of the virus that is 50% more contagious than the original could become the dominant form of the virus in the country by next month. 

Tiffany & Co.’s offices and storefront are located at 727 Fifth Ave., and its iconic Manhattan real estate is at the crux of many of the trends throwing the city's future in doubt — it relies on tourism, brick-and-mortar retail spending and heavy downtown foot traffic.

Its employees coming back could be seen a positive for the market — some functions still must occur in person — after 2020 was the worst office leasing year for New York City this century. Office landlords have tried pressuring company executives to bring their employees back to the office, with little success. 

Remote work is increasingly seen as a long-term piece of many workplaces. This could pose significant challenges for cities like New York, where dense, frequently used offices drive the economy and real estate market. 

LVMH is now among a group of businesses to require in-office attendance while the city continues to battle the pandemic. JPMorgan Chase, as well as large real estate developers like RXR and Related Cos., have expected their workers back in the office unless they have a medical condition since late last summer.