By Lenore Fedow
Piercing Pagoda launched its “Be More You” campaign this summer for its 50th anniversary, encouraging self-expression through piercings and jewelry. The Signet-owned banner saw the highest same-store sales growth in the company’s second quarter.
Akron, Ohio—Signet Jewelers Ltd. reported a dip in second-quarter revenue and a decline in foot traffic but the jeweler still posted better-than-expected sales.

Second-quarter sales for all Signet stores, both in North America and the United Kingdom, fell 4 percent year-over-year but totaled $1.36 billion, slightly higher than the $1.3 billion analysts had expected.

The jeweler also reported earnings of $0.51 per share, double the $0.25 per share analysts had expected.

The company's Q2 performance prompted CEO Gina Drosos to note the company is beginning to see results from its turnaround plan.

“We continue to gain traction on our transformation initiatives and delivered second-quarter results that exceeded our same-store sales, non-GAAP operating profit, and non-GAAP earnings per share expectations,” she said in the company press release announcing its Q2 results.

Signet’s Q2 same-store sales, which include both online and in-store sales, slipped 2 percent.

Quarterly e-commerce sales were up 4 percent to $156.9 million, accounting for 12 percent of overall sales, compared with 11 percent in the prior-year second quarter.

Brick-and-mortar same-store sales dipped 2 percent.

In North America, where Signet operates stores like Kay Jewelers, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry and Piercing Pagoda, sales totaled $1.24 billion, with same-store sales down 1 percent.

The average transaction value increased 1 percent, but the number of transactions was down 2 percent.

By banner, Piercing Pagoda was the top performer, with same-store sales for the chain of ear-piercing kiosks climbing 11 percent.

This marks the fifth consecutive quarter the banner has seen double-digit growth, Signet CEO Gina Drosos noted on the company’s earnings call Thursday morning.

Same-stores sales at Zales rose 2 percent, while comps were down 2 percent at e-tailer James Allen and 3 percent at Kay Jewelers.

Comps fell 4 percent at Jared the Galleria of Jewelry while Canadian chain Peoples Jewellers recorded a 1 percent decline in same-store sales.

Regional banners performed poorly, with same-store sales falling 10 percent.

By category, fashion sales were strong, growing across all North America banners, Drosos said. Gold fashion jewelry, the “Love + Be Loved” collection, and Disney were the top performers.

Bridal, watches and other categories declined on a same-store sales basis, with the drop in the “other” category stemming from sliding Pandora sales.

Within bridal, Enchanted Disney and The Leo Diamond performed well, while sales of Ever Us and Tolkowsky slipped.

On the call, Drosos discussed the company’s strategy for the upcoming holiday season, which includes improving its merchandise assortment and shopping experience, and looking to services as a revenue driver, including expanding ear piercing services to Kay Jewelers stores.

“As we enter the competitive holiday season, we believe we are positioned to execute our product strategy by launching additional flagship brands, delivering relevant on-trend new merchandise and offering a highly competitive assortment for value-oriented shoppers,” she said in press release.

Signet’s holiday plans include new products, including offering more colored gemstone bridal jewelry, and a new Vera Wang’s men’s collection.

Regarding tariffs, Drosos said they’ve had no “meaningful impact” on the business and Signet does not expect to pass costs along to the customer.

She added that the company has moved some of its business out of China to decrease its exposure.

Looking ahead, the retailer reiterated its full-year outlook, expecting sales of $6-$6.06 billion with same-store sales falling between 2 and 3 percent.

Signet also announced plans Thursday to refinance its existing credit facilities, entering into five-year $1.6 billion senior asset-based credit facilities, extending maturities and increasing its liquidity.

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