Signet Same-Store Sales Down 6.7%

Signet Group plc, the world’s largest specialty retail jeweler, reported that same-store sales declined 6.7 percent in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 2. Total sales for the period fell 6.1 percent on a reported basis to $1.38 billion. At constant exchange rates, sales fell 3.7 percent.

In the U.S. (which accounted for about 72.2 percent of total group sales for the period), total sales fell 7.2 percent and same-store were down 8.6 percent for the period.

In the U.K. (which accounted for nearly 28.8 percent of total group sales), total sales fell 3.3 percent and same-store sales fell 1.7 percent for the period.

For the fiscal year, group same-store sales declined by 0.7 percent. Total sales increased by 3 percent on a reported basis to $3.66 billion, reflecting an increase of 3.2 percent at constant exchange rates.

In the U.S. (which accounted for 73.8 percent of total group sales for the year), total sales increased 2 percent to $2.7 billion and same-store sales fell 1.7 percent for the year.

In the U.K. (which accounted for 26.2 percent of total group sales), total sales were up 5.8 percent to $960 million and same-store sales rose 2 percent for the year.

“In the fourth quarter, the U.S. business faced a very difficult environment with January adversely impacted by a change in promotional activity. The UK division had a disappointing Christmas period but saw some improvement in January,” said Terry Burman, Signet Group chief executive. “For the year as a whole, the U.S. business executed its space growth plan and achieved a 4.1 percent increase (at constant exchange rates) in total sales on a 52-week basis. The UK division’s like for like sales increased by 2 percent, a good performance given the very challenging fourth quarter.”

Signet operates approximately 1,962 specialty retail jewelry stores that includes 1,399 stores in the U.S., where it trades as Kay Jewelers, Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry, and under a number of regional names; and 563 stores in the UK, where the Group trades as H.Samuel, Ernest Jones, and “Leslie Davis.