Signet Sets Sights on Bridal Market as Q2 Sales Slip

FinancialsSep 01, 2022

Signet Sets Sights on Bridal Market as Q2 Sales Slip

Pre-wedding events, like a bridal shower, represent a $1.9 billion gifting opportunity, said the jewelry giant.

A 14-karat two-tone gold and lab-grown diamond anniversary band ($16,999) from the new Pnina Tornai collection at Signet Jewelers-owned banner Jared. Signet’s sales were down 2 percent year-over-year in the second quarter.
Akron, Ohio—Sales slipped in the second quarter for Signet Jewelers Ltd., with both total revenue and same-store sales down slightly.

The company already had lowered its full-year outlook last month following softening sales in July.

Still, the jewelry giant, which is the parent company of several large jewelry store chains including Zales, Jared and Kay Jewelers, is approaching the holiday season with confidence

Here are five things to know about its recent earnings report, released Thursday morning.

Signet had a muted second quarter.

For the quarter ending July 30, Signet’s sales totaled $1.8 billion, down 2 percent year-over-year against a record-setting second quarter in 2021.

Sales were up 29 percent compared with pre-pandemic fiscal 2020.

Same-store sales were down 8 percent year-over-year.

“Signet’s Q2 results are a strong reason to believe our core message,” said CEO Virginia Drosos on the company’s earnings call Thursday.

“We have the strategic clarity, structural advantages, financial flexibility, and winning culture to deliver consistent, reliable, and sustainable growth and meaningful shareholder value. Signet is strong and growing stronger.”

In North America, Signet’s banners include Zales and Kay Jewelers as well as Peoples in Canada.

Signet’s second-quarter sales in the region totaled $1.6 billion, down 2 percent year-over-year.

Same-store sales were down 9 percent, which Signet attributed to a higher average transaction value but a lower number of transactions.

Signet’s international banners include Ernest Jones and H. Samuels.

International sales totaled $111.6 million, down 15 percent year over-year, with same-store sales down 2 percent.

Signet lowered its fiscal outlook.

Signet announced last month alongside its Blue Nile acquisition news that it has lowered its fiscal guidance in response to sales trends.

“We saw sales soften in July as our customers have been increasingly impacted by rapid inflation, so we’re revising guidance to align with these trends,” Drosos said last month.

The company said it now expects fiscal year sales to be in the range of $7.60 billion to $7.70 billion, down from $8.03 billion to $8.25 billion.

Signet noted that its revised outlook does not account for the potential worsening of the macroeconomic environment or its pending acquisition of Blue Nile.

Looking to the third quarter, Signet expects revenue in the range of $1.46 billion to $1.49 billion, down slightly from last year’s Q3 total of $1.54 billion.

 Related stories will be right here … 

Signet is all in on services.

Growing services revenue is a major goal of Signet’s “Inspiring Brilliance” growth plan.

“Warranty and repair services were drivers in the quarter and delivered nearly 7 percent growth [in the services category],” Chief Financial Officer Joan Hilson said on the call.

Its services, which boost in-store traffic, include Rocksbox, the jewelry subscription business Signet acquired last spring.

Rocksbox’s subscriber base increased 15 percent in the second quarter

The company is also offering some new services, including appraisals at select Kay Jewelers stores, a new insurance program at Jared, Kay and Zales, and the continued rollout of its Vault Rewards program.

At Jared, transaction values for reward program customers have increased by nearly $600 and repeat transactions are up 7 percent.

The program will expand to e-commerce and 1,800 Jared, Kay, and Zales stores by the holidays.

Signet is cornering the bridal market.

This year has been dubbed “the year of the wedding,” with 2.5 million weddings expected to take place in the United States in 2022.

The company saw growth in its bridal category, particularly in the $4,000 to $5,000 range, which saw revenue up 11 percent year-over-year, said Drosos.

Across all banners, purchases in the $10,000-plus range grew 15 percent in aggregate.

“Bridal is a big part of the story this quarter,” said Drosos, estimating the company’s bridal market share is at 30 percent.

Signet is looking to capitalize on the pre-wedding events that surround the big day, which it sees as a $1.9 billion opportunity in the U.S., noting these events are great for gifting.

Its in-house data shows that 43 percent of gifts given surrounding the wedding are jewelry gifts. The company is focused on making the most of all wedding opportunities, Drosos said.

Signet is planning targeted media campaigns and online gift guides as a way to appeal to this segment.

It also has launched Bridal by Rocksbox, a subscription box tailored specifically to brides and their wedding parties.

Signet is catering to both high-end and budget-strapped customers.

Signet is aiming to expand its customer base by catering to a wide spectrum of income levels.

“In this economic environment, we are both leaning into accessible luxury while also increasing our value equation for more economically challenged customers,” said Drosos.

For wealthier customers, Signet has added more higher price-point items and expanded its concierge and personalization services, like Jared Foundry.

As lower-income consumers feel the toll of inflation, the company is offering more affordable, value-focused options.

“A great example is how we’re leveraging lab-created diamonds for a bigger look for less in our fashion pieces,” she said. 

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

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