Signet’s Holiday Saved by Online Shoppers

FinancialsJan 15, 2021

Signet’s Holiday Saved by Online Shoppers

The jewelry giant’s online sales surged 61 percent year-over-year during the holiday season.

The new Royal Asscher collection at Signet-owned banner Jared performed well this holiday season.

Akron, Ohio—Signet Jewelers Ltd.’s overall 2020 holiday sales were flat, though online sales soared by double digits.

On Thursday, the jewelry giant reported a preliminary sales total of $1.8 billion for the nine-week period ended Jan. 2, flat to last year.

Same-store sales—which includes both physical and e-commerce sales—rose 6 percent year-over-year. Online sales surged 61 percent year-over-year, while brick-and-mortar sales fell 4 percent.

As of Jan. 2, Signet had 2,866 locations. It has closed 355 of the 380 stores it plans to shutter this fiscal year.

“Our results were driven by new digital and fulfillment capabilities, increasingly personalized and insight-based marketing, banner portfolio differentiation, and a strong merchandising strategy that included competitive newness and a strengthened core assortment, all of which increased conversion, attracted new customers, and increased market share,” CEO Virginia Drosos said in the release announcing the retailer’s holiday results.

In North America, same-store sales were up 8 percent. The number of transactions rose 4 percent while average transaction value was up 2 percent.

Online sales in the region shot up 58 percent while brick-and-mortar sales were down around 1 percent.

Sales in bridal and fashion categories climbed by double digits on a same-store sales basis, said Signet, due to new products and a strong core assortment.

In the U.K., the governmental lockdown sent same-store sales tumbling 19 percent year-over-year, though online sales nearly doubled, up 93 percent.

Signet increased its e-commerce fulfillment capacity to five times that of the last holiday season, delivering 98 percent of customer orders on time in North America.

New selling capabilities, including buy online pick-up in-store (BOPIS), ship from store (SFS) and virtual selling, were also highlights of the retailer’s holiday season.

Looking at its U.S. banners, including Zales and Kay Jewelers, all posted positive same-store sales.

At Zales and Piercing Pagoda, popular with gift-givers and self-purchasers, fashion jewelry sales were especially strong.

At Kay Jewelers, bridal jewelry, particularly the newer Leo’s Ideal Cut and First Light lines, was a top seller.

At Jared, the Royal Asscher and Pnina Tornai collections were the standouts.

Existing lines, like Center of Me at Kay and Vera Wang at Zales, also did well.

Looking to the fourth quarter, Signet expects to see same-store sales increase 4 to 5 percent, with total sales of $2.10 billion to $2.12 billion.

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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