Signet Holiday Sales Fall Below Expectations

Signet Jewelers’ holiday sales were “below expectations,” the company admitted today, with comps falling 1.3 percent for the nine-week period ending Jan. 5.

In a statement, CEO Virginia Drosos (pictured) said there were three reasons for the dip:

– While the refreshed assortments merchandise and e-commerce did well, the “legacy” products declined.

– The environment continued to be very promotional, and the company experienced lower traffic during key weeks in December,

– In addition, “higher than expected credit costs” associated with its outsourcing of credit negatively impacted profitability.

Drosos promised aggressive action to boost profitability by lowering its cost structure, better inventory management, and “right-sizing” the store base, which almost certainly means closing more stores.

“We expect to accelerate initiatives to enhance our product assortment, marketing personalization and analytics, promotional effectiveness, service offerings, and e-commerce to deliver a more seamless and engaging omnichannel customer experience,” she said in a statement.

Same-store sales rose 16.9 percent during the holidays at Piercing Pagoda, which was again the company’s shining star, and 2 percent at Zales. Kay’s comps decreased 0.8 percent and Jared’s comps tumbled a grim 8 percent. Sales at James Allen, the e-tailer that, until recently, had been posting double-digit gains, declined 0.2 percent.

Overall e-commerce sales jumped 5 percent over the previous year, while brick-and-mortar same-store sales fell 2.2 percent

Bridal sales rose, but anniversary sales declined, which helped fuel a decline in the Ever Us collection. Bridal sales grew for Enchanted Disney Fine Jewelry, Vera Wang Love, Neil Lane, and solitaires.

Gold fashion jewelry, Disney fashion jewelry, and the Love + Be Loved collection all did well and offset declines by Le Vian and other legacy collections. Sales of Pandora charms also declined.

International same-store sales decreased 7.3 percent, due to lower sales in bridal jewelry, fashion jewelry. and fashion watches. However, prestige watches scored higher sales.

Signet’s full financial statement can be seen here.

(Image courtesy of Signet Jewelers)

JCK News Director