Sterling Closing Stores (UPDATE: News on CEO Succession)

Some interesting info from Signet’s conference call:

Even after what are generally seen as impressive sales results last holiday, the company is still playing it cautious. It shut 60 stores over fiscal year 2010 (which ends this month). Those store closures came mostly in the regional divisions, since those parts of the company have been “underperforming Kay and have been doing that for the last five to ten years,” according to CEO Terry Burman, because of a lack of national advertising. Over fiscal year 2011, as leases mature, “we will evaluate the stores’ return on investment and, therefore, expect a similar 1% decrease in space [about 60 stores],” said spokesman David Bouffard. And again, these closures are expected to be most concentrated in the regional divisions.

As for what helped the company last holiday, Burman cited Jane Seymour; its other brands, including Love’s Embrace and Levian; Pandora at Jared; as well as a climate where the company faced less discounting and going out of business sales.

UPDATE: Someone just pointed out this info from the company’s release (PDF.) As we all know, Terry Burman is stepping down next year. However,  I don’t recall every seeing this before:

Mark Light, US division Chief Executive, has advised the Committee that he is not a candidate for the Group Chief Executive Officer position for personal reasons.

JCK News Director