Signet Same-Store Sales Down 2.5%

Signet Group plc said Thursday that same-store sales declined by 2.5 percent in the first quarter, ended May 3. Total sales were up by 1 percent to $822.3 million, reflecting an underlying increase of 0.7 percent.

At the company’s U.S. stores, which accounts for 76.7 percent of total sales, same-store sales declined 4.7 percent in the first period. Total sales fell 0.2 percent to $630.9 million.

In the U.K., which accounts for 23.3 percent of total sales, same-store sales increased 5.3 percent. Total sales for the period rose 5.1 percent to $191.4 million.

“U.S. like for like sales were down 4.7 percent, reflecting a difficult trading environment partly offset by better weather over Valentine’s Day,” said Terry Burman, Group Chief Executive. “The results from the price increases implemented in the U.S. in February and March remain encouraging, although a full evaluation will only be completed in the summer. In the UK, like for like sales rose by 5.3 percent, with both H.Samuel and Ernest Jones outperforming the UK retail sector in a demanding marketplace.”

Signet, the world’s largest specialty retail jeweler, operates 1,966 stores including 1,407 stores in the U.S., where the group trades as Kay Jewelers, Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry, and under a number of regional names. The London-based company operates 559 stores in the U.K., where it trades as H.Samuel, Ernest Jones, and Leslie Davis.