The company also closed a speciality jewelry store it had opened in Hawaii
Macy’s will offer better-quality jewelry, sold by better-trained salespeople, chief financial officer Karen M. Hoguet announced on a conference call following the release of its financial results, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript.
“We tested a new approach to our fine jewelry and watch business in 2015,” Hoguet told analysts. “It involves strengthening selling skills, including changes needed to talent training and compensation…improved associate availability, more direct supervision, and a higher-quality product offering.”
The company piloted the new approach in 40 stores last year, and it will roll out to 350 by the end of the year.
Jewelry is a “backbone” to the company’s recently announced wedding initiative, Hoguet added.
The news comes as the department store announced its fifth straight quarter of falling comps. Same-store sales fell 6.1 percent, and first-quarter sales totaled $5.77 billion, a 7.4 percent drop, though the latter decline reflects the 41 stores it closed over the year.
In a statement, CEO and chairman Terry J. Lundgren blamed weak consumer spending for the decline.
The company hopes proprietary brands will revive sales. Among the product launches it has planned: Love Braver, a clothing and accessories endorsed by Elton John and Lady Gaga, and new wearable technology from Samsung.
The company also closed a specialty jewelry store—Macy’s Jewel Gallery—it had opened in Honolulu.