Signet to Acquire Diamonds Direct in $490M Deal

MajorsOct 12, 2021

Signet to Acquire Diamonds Direct in $490M Deal

The chain’s 22 locations will continue to operate as Diamonds Direct stores but become part of the growing Signet portfolio.

Diamonds Direct USA Inc. operates 22 stores in 13 states and has its corporate headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Signet Jewelers Ltd. is set to acquire the chain for $490 million in cash.
Fairlawn, Ohio—Signet Jewelers Ltd., already the largest specialty jeweler in North America by a wide margin, plans to make another acquisition. 

On Tuesday morning, the company announced plans to acquire Diamonds Direct USA Inc., the Charlotte, North Carolina-based retailer that operates 22 freestanding stores in 13 states and emphasizes price and selection as its selling points. 

Signet is acquiring the jeweler in a $490 million all-cash transaction that is expected to close in the fourth quarter of Signet’s fiscal 2022. 

Following the acquisition, all the chain’s locations will continue to operate as Diamonds Direct stores and its branded offerings will remain intact. 

The retailer’s leadership team will remain in place as well, Signet said. Diamonds Direct President Itay Berger will report to Signet CEO Gina Drosos. 

“I am excited about Diamonds Direct joining the Signet family as we share a passion for company culture that prioritizes our team members, our customers and our community,” Berger said in the release. “We are thrilled to continue to grow our business, leveraging Signet’s strengths and strategic capabilities to bring even more innovation and value to our signature shopping experience.”

For Signet, the acquisition of Diamonds Direct gives it a banner that is bridal-focused and appeals to a younger demographic.

“The accretive addition of Diamonds Direct to our portfolio will further drive shareholder value with its distinct bridal-focused shopping experience and add a new entry point as we build lifetime customer relationships and strive to reach our $9 billion revenue goal over time,” Drosos said. 

 Related stories will be right here … 

The planned acquisition of Diamonds Direct is the latest in a line of acquisitions, changes and additions for Signet, which has outperformed since the start of the pandemic due to digital innovation and a shift from spending on experiences and travel to fine jewelry. 

Earlier this year, the company acquired jewelry rental/subscription service Rocksbox, added lines from tennis superstar Serena Williams and bridal designer Monique Lhuillier, and rebranded one of its most successful banners, Piercing Pagoda. 

It also outlined a set of 44 ambitious sustainability goals for the next decade, which include fostering greater diversity in its workplace and among suppliers, and helping to fight climate change.
Alongside the announcement of the acquisition, Signet announced it is raising its financial guidance for the third time this fiscal year.

The jeweler now expects third quarter same-store sales growth of 10-12 percent, up from earlier guidance of 1 percent comp growth at best.

For the full year, same-store sales are expected to grow 35-38 percent, up from the previous prediction of 30-33 percent. Revenue is expected to top $7 billion.

In raising the guidance, Chief Financial and Strategy Officer Joan Hilson echoed what Wells Fargo analysts said in a note last week—Signet is not beset with the same supply chain issues currently facing many retailers and continues to benefit from strong jewelry sales. 

“Customers are showing positive response to our new product launches, and the reduction in government stimulus and customer shift to spending on entertainment and travel are having less impact than we previously anticipated,” said Hilson.

“While there remain factors beyond our control, our strengthened supply chain and vendor partnerships gave us the ability to plan earlier receipt of holiday product, and we currently do not expect any material supply chain disruptions. Signet uses air freight for the transit of the vast majority of our merchandise, thus avoiding current ocean freight congestion.”

Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.

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