Signet’s Q2 Sales Slide 35% As It Leans on E-Commerce

FinancialsSep 03, 2020

Signet’s Q2 Sales Slide 35% As It Leans on E-Commerce

The retailer has created a full-time virtual selling team to serve customers “wherever they want to shop” for the upcoming holiday season.

A Signet employee, wearing a face mask and gloves, cleans around the store. The jewelry giant posted a 35 percent year-over-year drop in second-quarter sales. (Photo courtesy of Signet Jewelers)

Akron, Ohio—Signet Jewelers Ltd.’s sales saw improvement in the second quarter as stores began to reopen, but the jewelry giant still leaned heavily on its growing online sales.

In the second quarter ending Aug. 1, sales totaled $888 million, down 35 percent year-over-year, with same-store sales dropping 31 percent, the retailer reported Thursday morning.

Year-to-date, Signet’s sales have totaled $1.74 billion, down 38 percent year-over-year, with same-store sales sliding 35 percent.

When COVID-19 hit, the retailer made the decision to close all its stores in North America, furloughing the majority of store and support center employees and cutting executive salaries, in late March.

Stores began to reopen in May, with around 20 percent of Signet’s stores operational then. Seventy-five percent were open by the end of June, and 90 percent by mid-July.

Brick-and-mortar sales improved alongside store reopenings, said Signet, but ultimately declined 46 percent in the second quarter.

Online sales were up 72 percent year-over-year to $270.1 million.

On the company’s earnings call Thursday morning, CEO Gina Drosos noted that 40 percent of purchases in the second quarter came from new customers, many of whom were acquired online.

Signet’s e-commerce momentum continued in the third quarter with preliminary data showing August e-commerce sales up 65 percent, while same-store sales have climbed 11 percent.

The company is leaning heavily on its digital capabilities, implementing a full-time virtual selling team and training 15,000 store associates to work virtually with customers from their homes or in stores.

RELATED CONTENT: Here’s How Signet Is Reopening Its Stores

“Signet’s store footprint, combined with recognized jewelry expertise and new virtual selling capabilities, is a strategic, competitive advantage in the jewelry category where trust and counseled selling is important, especially in bridal,” said Drosos.

Signet said it served more than 300,000 customers via virtual consultations and curbside pickup in the second quarter and increased its e-commerce distribution throughput five-fold.

“While the macro environment remains uncertain, the company believes that it is prepared, through both its virtual and physical footprints, to serve customers wherever they want to shop and however this upcoming holiday season unfolds,” Signet said in the press release on its results.

In North America, where Signet’s banners include Kay, Jared and Zales, second-quarter same-store sales sank 31 percent to $823 million.

While brick-and-mortar same-store sales in the region fell 45 percent, online sales were strong, climbing 73 percent.

The average transaction value (ATV) was up 2 percent, but the number of transactions fell 28 percent.


greater proportion of online sales in the second quarter hurt Signet’s payment plan participation rate, which includes credit and leasing sales. It was 40 percent in the quarter, down from 52 percent last year.

In the U.K., same-store sales were down 39 percent.

Brick-and-mortar sales sank 55 percent while e-commerce sales were up 66 percent. ATV increased 11 percent while the number of transactions dropped 43 percent.

Product-wise, Drosos noted that more customers were buying meaningful, sentimental, and religious jewelry amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sales in the bridal category sank 27 percent to $445.9 million year-over-year in the second quarter and fell 37 percent to $788.1 million in the half-year.

Customizations services, like those offered by Neil Lane and Vera Wang, were a driver in bridal sales, said Drosos.

Signet’s research found that more than 50 percent of non-engaged couples are quarantining together and half of them said their relationship had gotten stronger. Only seven percent said it had gotten worse.

She said the results signal “a nice tailwind in the bridal business.”

Sales in of fashion jewelry dropped 33 percent to $307.2 million year-over-year in the second quarter and fell 35 percent to $617.7 million in the half-year.

In the watches category, quarterly sales were down 50 percent to $46.1 million year-over-year and down 50 percent to $88.2 million in the half-year.

By banner, Kay Jewelers posted quarterly sales of $325 million, down 39 percent year-over-year while Jared’s quarterly sales dipped 34 percent to $168.5 million.

Zales’s quarterly sales were down 34 percent to $185.1 million while Piercing Pagoda’s sales fell 20 percent to $59.3 million.

E-tailer James Allen was the sole gainer, posting quarterly sales of $64.3 million, up 20 percent year-over-year.

The retailer began testing out James Allen store-in-stores in Jared locations to give the banner a “curated, physical presence.” The concept will be gradually expanded to 80 locations, or one-third of Jared’s fleet.

Looking at its store count, Signet closed 293 of the 380 stores it plans to shutter this fiscal year, mostly in traditional mall locations.

As for the holiday season ahead, Signet will be launching new products this month in preparation.

“Fifty-one percent of customers are planning to shop earlier this holiday season than they have in the past, so we’ll be ready for that,” said Drosos.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, Signet declined to provide financial guidance for the remainder of fiscal 2021.
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

The Latest

CollectionsFeb 03, 2023
Chipotle Spices Up Valentine’s Day with Jewelry Collection

The fast-casual chain partnered with Anna Sheffield’s Bing Bang NYC brand on a capsule collection and it’s a little “extra.”

SourcingFeb 03, 2023
Greenland Ruby Names New CEO

Geologist Arnt-Eirik Rørnes has taken on the role.

EditorsFeb 03, 2023
Piece of the Week: Gismondi 1754’s ‘Marea’ Cuff

The diamond and tanzanite bracelet was inspired by the waves of the Italian gulf near Genoa.

Brought to you by
Bringing Over 130 Years of Diamond Expertise to Modern Grading

De Beers Institute of Diamonds provides the very best in diamond verification, education and diamond services.

CollectionsFeb 02, 2023
Lowe’s Is Now Selling Jewelry

The home improvement store’s website features an “Empowerment Tools” demi-fine jewelry collection.

Weekly QuizFeb 02, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
Events & AwardsFeb 02, 2023
Registration is Now Open for JIS Spring 2023

The show will feature a new pavilion of 30 jewelry designers and manufacturers from Surat, India.

Policies & IssuesFeb 02, 2023
Tiny Radioactive Capsule Lost in Australian Outback Found

A government official said search crews “found the needle in the haystack” when they located the capsule belonging to Rio Tinto along an 870-mile stretch of road.

Brought to you by
De Beers Institute of Diamonds Expands to Offer Education

De Beers is sharing over 130 years of experience and expertise through the De Beers Institute of Diamonds with a selection of courses.

TrendsFeb 02, 2023
Amanda’s Style File: Purple and Playful

Amanda Gizzi welcomes February with a selection of amethyst jewelry, a birthstone that “deserves its own time to shine.”

EditorsFeb 01, 2023
Designers to Watch in 2023: Boochier

Behind the playful and nostalgic brand lies deeper meaning.

Events & AwardsFeb 01, 2023
New Miami Jewelry Center Slated to Open in Q1

The Time Century Jewelry Center is located in downtown Miami’s jewelry district.

SurveysFeb 01, 2023
Consumer Confidence Falls in January

Wariness about the year ahead offset a more positive view of the current economic situation.

MajorsFeb 01, 2023
Six New Retailers Appointed to IJO’s Board of Directors

The IJO also welcomed one new vendor member to its 13-member board, Brecken Farnsworth of Parlé Jewelry Designs.

ColumnistsJan 31, 2023
Squirrel Spotting: How About a Word for the New Year?

It begins with a “t” and ends with a “c” and is imbued with warmth and positivity, Peter Smith writes.

Policies & IssuesJan 31, 2023
Rio Tinto Issues Apology After Radioactive Capsule Goes Missing

The tiny capsule, which is believed to have fallen out of a truck, was lost somewhere along an 870-mile stretch of desert road.

MajorsJan 31, 2023
Indian Jewelry Brand Tanishq Opens First U.S. Store, More on the Way

The jeweler’s expansion plans include 20 to 30 more stores in North America and the Middle East over the next two to three years.

Events & AwardsJan 31, 2023
Gucci Is Getting a Gem Award

The Italian luxury brand will receive the first Gem Award for High Jewelry Excellence.

MajorsJan 31, 2023
Martin Flyer Names New VP of Business Development

Industry veteran Kevin Lane has stepped into the role.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
Researchers Uncover Bejeweled ‘Golden Boy’ Mummy

The ancient Egyptian teenager was buried 2,300 years ago with 49 amulets to guide him through the afterlife.

SurveysJan 30, 2023
Consumers Embracing Non-Traditional Ways to Mark Valentine’s Day

The NRF’s annual survey shows that consumer attitudes about how, or even whether, to celebrate Feb. 14 continue to evolve.

Events & AwardsJan 30, 2023
JA Is Searching for the Next Retail ’20 Under 40’

Nominations are open now through March 24.

MajorsJan 30, 2023
10 Jewelry News Stories You Might Have Missed

A column detailing how independent jewelers did last year and the top watch brands of 2022 were among the most-read stories last week.

MajorsJan 27, 2023
Diamond Council of America Appoints Treasurer, Board Member

Executives from Fred Meyer Jewelers and Riddles Jewelers have filled the roles.

CollectionsJan 27, 2023
Piece of the Week: Heavenly Vices’ Lock Necklace

The Victorian-inspired design is a functional lock and key.

Supplier BulletinJan 26, 2023
JA New York Spring Brings the Industry Together

For over 100 years, JA New York has played an integral role in facilitating the evolution of our industry, while also honoring past traditions.

TrendsJan 26, 2023
At Vicenzaoro, Paola De Luca Gazes Into Jewelry’s Future

The trend forecaster and her guests explored unconventional jewelry designs, NFTs, AI art, and more during her Trendvision presentation.

CollectionsJan 26, 2023
NDC and Lorraine Schwartz Announce New ‘EDDI’ Class

The Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative provides diamond credit and mentorship to young brands helmed by BIPOC designers.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy