By Lenore Fedow
Signet Jewelers is temporarily closing all its stores in North America, including Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared, James Allen, Peoples and Piercing Pagoda, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Akron, Ohio—Signet Jewelers Ltd. announced the temporary closures of all of its stores in North America in a statement Monday morning.

The retailer operates about 2,800 stores in North America under the Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared, James Allen, Peoples and Piercing Pagoda banners, as well as its support centers.

The brands’ online channels will remain open following a recent investment in the e-commerce platform to enhance the shopping experience, Signet said.

Employees will continue to receive benefits and pay—a combination of base pay and available paid time off—through April 4, at which time the company said it will “further assess the situation.”

Upcoming changes for employees will include reduced work hours, furloughs, and reduced compensation across its stores and support center, CEO Virginia Drosos said in the company statement.

The changes also will apply to its executives and board of directors.

When the company will reopen its stores will depend on the guidelines set by government and health officials.

“Retailers are already experiencing the severe impact of the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy, and we are anticipating continued reduction in consumer spend,” Drosos said.

The company will also be prioritizing its investments and reducing its operating expenses and capital expenditures, meaning the funds that go toward physical properties, equipment and technology.

Looking to strengthen its cash position, Signet accessed $900 million from its senior secured asset-based revolving credit facility.

At the time Signet accessed the funds on March 19, it had more than $1.2 billion in cash and an additional $292 million available on this asset-based revolving credit facility.

Signet will announce its fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 results this coming Thursday, March 26, as scheduled.

The company said it will provide an update on first-quarter sales trends to date, but will not provide financial guidance for the first-quarter or full-year 2021.

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