Signet Jewelers Slashing Home Office Head Count

Signet Jewelers plans to slash the workforce at its Akron, Ohio, and Dallas corporate offices by offering employees there a “voluntary transition” package.

The package, which provides undisclosed separation benefits, is being shopped to staff who have been with the company two years or more. It does not apply to workers at the store level or those in its distribution, manufacturing, customer care, and security divisions.

As is typical with these offers, CEO Gina Drosos warned that, if not enough employees opt for the deal, Signet might make nonvoluntary “head count reductions to free needed funding for investments.

“We have critical efforts going on in real estate to reduce rents, [in] merchandise to reduce cost of goods, indirect spending savings, and many more,” she wrote. “But we also need to make some hard decisions to get Signet where we need to be.”

Signet spokesperson David Bouffard says that the program is seeking a certain level of cost savings but cannot currently share that info. Employees will have until March 25 to “self-nominate.” The retailer will have more details of the program’s results at its April 3 earnings call, originally scheduled for mid-March.

The company also said it was deferring merit increases for home office employees.

In her email, Drosos said the cost-cutting moves were needed to fund the three pillars of its Path to Brilliance strategy: customer first, omnichannel, and a culture of agility and efficiency.

“We are in the midst of a significant and challenging transformation of a legacy mall retailer to a modern omnichannel category leader,” she said. “We need to take bold actions to free up resources necessary to operate more efficiently and make the investments necessary for continued growth. We are making these tough moves from a position of strength, not weakness.”

She had previously committed to cutting $200 million from the company’s bottom line.

More than 2,600 people work at Signet’s headquarters in Akron, and nearly 800 work in Dallas, the headquarters of its Zale division. Signet didn’t have an immediate number on how many employees are eligible for the program.

Top: Signet’s Akron, Ohio, headquarters (image courtesy of Signet Jewelers)

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JCK News Director