8 Takeaways From Signet’s Latest Conference Call

Signet CEO Mark Light said the company has proven it “can create a jewelry trend”

In the wake of Signet’s solid holiday results, its conference call with analysts was a mostly positive, upbeat affair, though Signet CEO Mark Light gave some intriguing hints as to where he plans to take the business.

Here are eight takeaways from the earnings call, based on a transcript from SeekingAlpha.

1. The Ever Us two-stone ring is a hit!

If Light was feeling good about the business in general, he was positively effervescent about Ever Us, showering it with sports metaphors (he dubbed it both a “grand slam” and a “slam dunk”).

Stores even ran out of stock in certain sizes, he said: “We pulled forward our Valentine’s Day orders, our Mother’s Day orders, and we just couldn’t keep up with it.”

2. The company will extend the concept.

This spring, Signet will test new Ever Us product extensions, including different ring, bracelet, and necklace designs.

3. It will also be a model for other products going forward.

“We’ve proven that we at Signet can create a jewelry trend. Not all companies in this industry have that capability … [We see] other opportunities for Signet to develop different jewelry trends going forward into the future.”

4. Jared is being “tweaked.”

“We’ve taken a lot of steps that were given to us by the Bain segmentation study that we did. We made some key personnel changes in the stores, and we changed some of our selling strategies.”

Among those tweaks: It has introduced the Vera Wang brand, it is expanding its partnership with Pandora, and it is getting more promotional.

Jared consumers are “looking for a promotional sale here or there,” said Light.

5. Millennials like jewelry—though you need to reach them.

“Our research has shown that millennials very much hold jewelry in favor.… If [jewelry] is not advertised in front of them they will be easily deterred to spending [their] discretionary income elsewhere. So what is important for us is to continue to market our product and advertise our product and get our industry to advertise more.”

6. The holiday was last-minute for Signet, too.

“We did much better later in the holiday. We continue to see business being pushed later and later into the holiday season across all of our brands.”

7. It doesn’t think Zales and Kay are cannibalizing each other.

“We track [this] on a weekly basis. Our Zales U.S. stores were up over 6 percent. Our Kay stores were up over 7 percent. So we’ll take that all day long. There is minimal cannibalization going on, and we’re very happy with what’s going on both with Kay and Zales.”

8. What wasn’t mentioned.

Two high-profile initiatives that Light didn’t talk up during this call: Alex and Ani in Jared and the Star Wars jewelry in Kay.

JCK News Director