Industry / Retail

Online Now Accounts for Nearly a Quarter of Signet’s Sales


E-commerce now accounts for 23% of Signet’s sales, nearly one quarter of its total, the company’s chief financial, strategy, and services officer Joan Hilson tells JCK.

That’s particularly notable considering e-commerce represented just 5% of Signet’s sales in 2017, she says.

Hilson (pictured) says that while online growth has “leveled off a bit,” overall, “our online sales are strong,” she says. “We expect those sales to continue to grow and continue to increase penetration.”

A back-end issue that popped up during the re-platforming of James Allen and Blue Nile hampered sales at those sites during the most recent quarter, she says, but online sales at its core banners, like Kay and Zales, remained strong.

During its most recent earnings call, Signet said it will close up to 30 Ernest Jones stores in the United Kingdom, after selling 19 Ernest Jones locations to Watches of Switzerland in November.

But Hilson says the company plans to continue to operate Ernest Jones stores, even though it will now put more emphasis on its other U.K. banner, H. Samuel.

“We have Ernest Jones locations that are doing very well,” she says. “Our focus is the H. Samuel banner, which has shown between 10% to 15% growth. Recent renovations have done well for them.”

While Signet’s sales fell during the fourth quarter, Hilson says a projected uptick in engagements should lead to an improvement in same-store sales in the coming fiscal year. Signet has also seen strong results from new fashion items—which did particularly well last holiday—as well as its service business, she says.

Signet also remains a consistent generator of cash. The retailer generated more than $600 million in free cash flow this year, and ended fiscal 2024 with nearly $1.4 billion in cash, driven by inventory efficiency.

Photo courtesy of Signet

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By: Rob Bates

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