Industry / Retail

Signet Buys SJR National Repair, in Bid to Boost Service Offerings  


Signet has acquired SJR National Repair Center, a Brentwood, Tenn.–based company that services jewelry and watches for consumers and over 4,000 stores. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

In addition, Blue Nile’s Seattle fulfillment center will be converted into a central repair facility, which will do work for all the company’s banners. Signet had previously indicated it would close the Seattle location. This move means most of the jewelers employed there will retain their jobs.

SJR’s 70-person workforce will continue to be based out of Tennessee. SJR also owns two retail stores in Nashville, which will remain open.

The acquisition will let Signet add mail-in, business-to-business, and watch repair to its service offerings, according to chief financial, strategy, and services officer Joan Hilson (pictured). SJR’s watch team is certified to work on all major brands, she says. “That means we can bring Signet’s watch repair in-house, which is immediately accretive to us, and be able to service watches for other locations as well.”

The business-to-business aspect could prove tricky, as independent jewelers may not want items serviced by a competitor like Signet.

“Our intention is to provide this service more broadly across the industry,” Hilson says. “What we find in our own business is that repair and jewelry service customers tend to come back more frequently and spend more with us. It’s good for the independents to have confidence in their jewelry service offering.

“We will not be privy to [any jeweler’s] customer data,” she adds. “We will do the full service work, but we’ll also have the appropriate technology in place that will inhibit us from seeing that information.”

Signet’s goal is to grow its “services” business—which encompasses repairs, warranties, rentals, and custom work—by $500 million, to eventually hit $1.2 billion. It sees customization as a $700 million growth opportunity.

Some Signet custom work, such as that done at Jared Foundry, will continue to be handled on-site.

“Overall, we have 1,800 jewelers in our existing network,” Hilson says. “With the Seattle fulfillment center and the SJR acquisition, that gets us to 1,900 jewelers or so.”

This acquisition will also let Signet expand its service offerings to other banners; is currently testing customization options, Hilson says.

SJR was founded in 2002 by former employees of jewelry catalog showroom Service Merchandise.

(Photo courtesy of Signet)

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By: Rob Bates

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