Signet’s Comps Fall 5 Percent, Posts Loss

Signet Jewelers posted another downbeat series of results, with its third-quarter sales and profits hurt by the recent series of hurricanes and disruptions as it began outsourcing its credit.

Overall comp sales for the period (ended Oct. 28) fell 5 percent. Flagship chain Kay saw sales fall 7.2 percent. Sales also dropped 5.1 percent at Jared; 3.3 percent at Zales; 15.8 percent at Gordon’s; 1.9 percent at its Canadian division; and 5.1 percent at its U.K. division.

Piercing Pagoda and R2Net (James Allen) were bright spots, with sales rising 2.1 percent and 17.9 percent, respectively.

Overall sales came out to $1.2 billion, down 2 percent from the prior year. The company posted a $12.1 million loss for the period, compared to a $14.8 million profit the prior year.

In a conference call following the release of its financial results, CEO Gina Drosos (pictured) said the company was testing a variety of new products, including its millennial-targeting Interwoven line; Disney Enchanted bridal in Zales; extensions in its Ever Us, LeVian, Chosen, and Vera Wang lines; an Emmy London jewelry line for Kay; and products involving stacking and layering.

She also said the company will cut the number of television commercials it runs in holiday slots by nearly half and will shift its marketing money to digital. Digital advertising will now comprise 30 percent of its marketing budget, up from 19 percent last year.

It’s also increasing by 50 percent the number of fashion products in the $200 to $700 price point range.

Malls, where Signet has traditionally had a heavy presence, continue to be a problem: Chief financial officer Michele Santana said the company’s off-mall stores performed significantly better than its mall stores.

(Image courtesy of Signet Jewelers)

JCK News Director