Signet Jewelers saw its total sales settle to $1.8 billion in its second quarter, down 1.9% compared to the same period last year.
In its second quarter fiscal results, released Sept. 1, Signet said its same-store sales were down 8.2% compared to the second quarter of last year. Same-store sales are often considered the best judge of a retailer’s overall health; it also includes physical store and e-commerce sales.
While these numbers are lower, Signet officials told analysts and media on a related conference call that they believe they can meet their goal of double-digital growth for the year. They also noted that last year had “record-setting second quarter sales,” and this year’s sales are affected by rising inflation and other economic factors, resulting in a “softer” second quarter.
Signet officials on the call noted that consumers shopping at lower price points—for example, jewelry under $500—seem to be harder hit in terms of macroeconomic pressures such as inflation. Higher price points, especially in terms of “accessible luxury” and luxury prices, are doing better, officials said.
CEO Gina Drosos told analysts and reporters on the call that Signet is “leaning into trends” such as accessible luxury products as well as gifting around sentimental events, especially bridal.
During the second quarter, Signet’s Rocksbox brand launched its bridal subscription product—something the company sees as having great potential, Drosos says. Its proprietary data shows that gifting around the wedding and wedding-related events are all opportunities for growth as weddings continue to surge and more people are holding in-person events.
To capture that bridal audience, Signet brands such as Rocksbox and Jared will offer targeted shopping guides and other services to capture that bride and her related jewelry purchases, Drosos says.
Key acquisitions, like Signet’s recent purchase of Blue Nile, also are proving to be assets going into the all-important holiday season, Signet officials said on the call. Blue Nile appeals to a younger, more diverse customer, and its low-inventory showroom model is of interest to Signet overall, the company said.
Signet officials also said they are boosting in-store services like repairs and appraisals for steady income; they are seeing increasing interest in financing and will continue to offer zero-down financing; and they are working with their vendors to buy smarter and sell more affordable jewelry to those value shoppers who may be feeling financial stress.
In other second quarter news, Signet said its non-GAAP operating income was $193.2 million—down from $223 million compared to the prior year’s first quarter. Sales in its North American division [covering the United States and Canada] were down 1.8% to $1.6 billion for the quarter. Its international division had total sales of $111.6 million, down 14.6%, the company reported.
Signet’s second quarter covered the 13 weeks between April 30 and July 30, 2022, which the company describes as its second quarter of fiscal year 2023. In the first quarter, Signet reported sales up nearly 9% to $1.8 billion and same-store sales or comps increasing 2.5% over the same period last year.
Its publicly traded stock under the symbol SIG responded well in pre-trading, noting that Signet “beat expectations and sales that matched,” according to MarketWatch. The stock, which had fallen throughout the week, continued to trade in positive territory in the hours after the news was released, given that Signet officials maintained the company’s “upbeat” guidance for the rest of the year.
Top: Signet officials released the company’s second quarter report on Sept. 1, noting that sales at its stores, including brands such as Zales (pictured), have softened, but the jewelry business continues to do well with accessible luxury and luxury products (photo courtesy of Signet).@jckmagazine
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