By Lenore Fedow
As part of Signet’s reopening plans, employees are wearing masks and gloves and regularly cleaning stores. In a recent SEC filing, the retailer listed consumers’ health and safety concerns regarding in-store shopping as one of the risk factors that could impact business. (Photo courtesy of Signet Jewelers)
Akron, Ohio—Signet Jewelers Ltd. said it needs more time to submit its latest Form 10-Q to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as it assesses the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a filing made last week, the retailer said an extension is necessary because it has “experienced significant disruptions due to the unprecedented conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In its first quarter, which ended May 2, Signet reported a 39 percent year-over-year decline in same-store sales, while total sales dropped 40 percent.

The retailer closed all its stores in late March due to the pandemic, and furloughed most of its store and support center employees while slashing executive salaries.

Signet released interim financial results June 9, but the company said it will need to further evaluate the impact before submitting its finalized report.

“The full extent of COVID-19 on the company’s operations, financial performance, and liquidity, depends on future developments that are uncertain and unpredictable,” it said.

The retailer is updating its “Risk Factors” section for the SEC to include “public health crises or disease outbreaks, epidemics or pandemics” as a threat to its business, jeopardizing finances, debt levels, ability to raise capital, lease obligations, and more.

While its ecommerce business performed well in its first quarter, the company noted the “shutdown of the New York diamond operations”—meaning the forced closure of its James Allen distribution center in New York City—took a toll on online sales.

Signet said it’s possible the ecommerce business will be impacted by a number of factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, economic downturn, and additional state and federal mandates to close retail stores.

Its global supply chain overall was interrupted, said Signet, and could be further interrupted, increasing the costs of production and distribution.
RELATED CONTENT: Here’s How Signet Is Reopening Its Stores
Though Signet has begun reopening stores in select locations, it temporarily closed a small percentage of its stores “in connection with the widespread protests across the country and out of concern for the well-being of its customers and employees.”

Signet noted in its risk factors that even after stores are reopened, there is “significant uncertainty” around customers’ willingness to visit.

Though the retailer has implemented safety procedures at its reopened stores, it can’t say for sure how effective they will be and how any virus-related illness linked, or said to be linked to, its stores could harm its reputation and balance sheet.

Signet also noted the impact of the pandemic on its employees. Employees who are sick, quarantined, or otherwise kept from work and travel could have “adverse impacts” on the company.

Signet is expected to file its final 10-Q no more than 45 days from the initial due date of June 11.

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