Signet’s Holiday Comps Rise, Particularly Online

Signet’s comps grew this holiday—though an increasing amount of its customers weren’t at the mall, but on their couch.

The company announced that its 2019 holiday comps rose 1.6%—with online sales climbing an impressive 13.5%, even as brick-and-mortar sales dropped 0.2%.

The results, for the nine weeks ending Jan. 4, topped Signet’s prior guidance and led America’s largest jeweler to boost its guidance for the next fiscal year. It now expects that fiscal 2021’s same-store sales will rise 0.1%; it had previously expected them to fall 1%–1.7%.

Just about every division of Signet saw an increase in same-store sales this holiday—a change from past quarters, when only one or two divisions saw jumps.

James Allen led the company with a 26% comp gain, a return to past patterns of growth. The e-tailer’s comps had fallen dramatically after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling on online sales tax. Now, its same-store sales are being measured against quarters following that decision.

Piercing Pagoda’s sales jumped 6.9%; Zales’ comps rose 5.9%; Canadian chain Peoples saw a 4.5% increase; and flagship chain Kay eked out a 0.2% rise.

Comps dropped 3.5% at Jared, while regional banners saw a 10.4% decline. Sales at its U.K. division fell 3.1%, which it attributed to a “difficult operating environment” in Britain.

In a statement, chief executive officer Virginia Drosos credited the results to “product newness, investments in our digital capabilities, and more targeted marketing campaigns.”

The company also noted the following trends this holiday:

– Bridal and fashion were strong in North America, while watch and bead sales declined.

– Total sales for the period were $1.8 billion. E-commerce sales totaled $252.3 million.

– The number of transactions grew in the holiday season, but the average transaction value was flat.

– Participation in its payment plan, including both credit and leasing sales, decreased year over year.

Signet’s full holiday report can be seen here.

(Image courtesy of Signet Jewelers)

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JCK News Director