Industry / Podcasts

The Jewelry District, Episode 55: Guest Gina Drosos


In This Episode
You’ll hear JCK editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky and news director Rob Bates talk with Gina Drosos, CEO of Signet Jewelers.

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Show Notes
00:30 Victoria and Rob introduce their guest, Gina Drosos, CEO of Signet Jewelers.
11:30 Gina tells a story about her appreciation of sentimental jewelry while growing up.
14:15 Gina explains how she sees the culture of the jewelry industry.
17:14 Rob asks Gina about her average day, and Gina tells Rob what she loves doing most.
21:02 Rob and Gina talk about what they expect 2021 holiday sales to look like.
25:08 Gina discusses Signet’s acquisition of Diamonds Direct and her thoughts on lab-grown diamonds.

Episode Credits
Hosts: Rob Bates and Victoria Gomelsky
Producer and engineer: Natalie Chomet
Plugs: Signet Jewelers,

Show Recap

Introducing Gina Drosos
Victoria and Rob introduce their guest, Gina Drosos, CEO of Signet Jewelers. She’s calling in from about an hour and a half outside of Atlanta, from Lake Oconee. Gina joined the Signet board in 2012, and she’s been CEO since August 2017. She says she’s always wanted to work in an industry where she feels as though the product makes a difference in people’s lives. She also explains how she likes “transformation opportunities,” and what she means by that. She also talks about her experience working in other companies before she landed at Signet. One of those companies she’s particularly proud of is Olay.

The Road to Signet

Victoria asks Gina what led her to Signet Jewelers. Gina says that while working at Procter & Gamble, she was looking for an opportunity to serve on an outside board, and she ended up finding Signet. Rob asks if Gina had an affinity for jewelry growing up, and she says she would always play in her mother’s jewelry box. While her mother didn’t have a large collection, all of her pieces were meaningful. On Gina’s 18th birthday, her parents bought her her very first piece of fine jewelry, a diamond cocktail ring from Friedman’s.

Our Industry Culture

Victoria asks Gina how her experiences outside the jewelry industry compare to those she’s had inside. Gina says the culture of the jewelry industry is unrivaled. She says that there’s a family feel all the way through the supply chain, a connectedness that she’s never felt before. Second, she says that the supply chain is different and the industry is intellectually complicated. Third, Gina says, the industry is very fragmented, as there’s room for independent jewelers. Even with Signet being as large as it is, it still only has a 7% market share. Jewelry is a massive industry, with room to grow.

What Gina Loves Most

Rob asks Gina what her average day looks like. While the “average day” has changed quite a bit over the last two years, Gina says her best days are when she’s out in the stores. She enjoys seeing Signet’s mission of inspiring love come to fruition in the lives of its customers. She also says she loves being in the distribution center. Seeing product being made, product coming in from different countries, checking its quality, e-commerce shipping—she loves seeing it all. Signet has over 2,000 distribution centers!

Anticipating Holiday Sales

Sales are way up for Signet, so Rob asks Gina what she thinks holiday sales will look like this year. Gina says Signet has just raised its 2022 fiscal guidance by $240 million, and that guidance includes its third and fourth quarter estimates for the year. Gina says the industry is not seeing as much of a spending shift to travel and entertainment as had been anticipated, mostly due to the delta variant. Signet is expecting engagements to continue trending upward. Its Kay and Zales banners have been able to better differentiate themselves to appeal to different customers, and Jared is growing strongly. Piercing Pagoda is also delivering strong growth. Differentiation efforts and a connected commerce strategy have been working well for them. Gina also talks about men’s jewelry and how she anticipates the category expanding this holiday season.

Lab-Grown Diamonds and the Purchase of Diamonds Direct

Rob asks Gina about how she sees lab-grown diamonds fitting into Signet overall, and Gina says she thinks of it as a customer-first strategy. Lab-grown diamonds are a choice for customers. Signet first tested them in the market with James Allen, where they saw strong performance, before rolling them out elsewhere. If customers show more interest, they will offer more. On another note, Signet just bought Diamonds Direct, which does a great job in the bridal category. The company hopes to celebrate life milestones with its customers. Signet would like to grow its online presence. Besides acquisitions, Victoria asks Gina how else she envisions growing Signet’s business, and Gina explains Signet’s strategies. To close, Rob asks for final thoughts on the holiday season, and Victoria asks about 2022.

(Photo courtesy of Signet Jewelers)

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