Financials

Online Sales Soar, Strengthening Signet’s Q4

FinancialsMar 18, 2021

Online Sales Soar, Strengthening Signet’s Q4

The jewelry giant saw e-commerce sales increase 71 percent year-over-year in its fourth quarter.

Signet’s total sales rose 2 percent overall in the fourth quarter, but fell 15 percent for the full year.
Akron, Ohio—Signet Jewelers Ltd. posted a strong fourth quarter but the specialty jeweler’s full-year sales fell by double digits due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the fourth quarter ended Jan. 30, sales totaled $2.2 billion, up 2 percent year-over-year, with same-store sales climbing 7 percent, the retailer reported Thursday morning.

Brick-and-mortar sales were down 4 percent year-over-year while online sales climbed 71 percent, accounting for 23 percent of all sales.

Signet’s Buy Online Pick-Up In Store feature, or BOPIS, was up and running by the fourth quarter, noted CEO Virginia Drosos on an earnings call Thursday morning.

It was a popular choice, particularly among male customers ahead of the holidays.

Drosos noted high rates of customer satisfaction and on-time fulfillment with BOPIS, with 86 percent of orders picked up within three hours in December.

For the full fiscal year, Signet’s sales totaled $5.2 billion, down 15 percent year-over-year, with same-store sales sliding 11 percent.

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As the vaccine rollout brings customers closer to normal, discretionary spending may shift to other categories, noted Signet on the earnings call.

The retailer said it will increase its marketing spending to continue to fuel momentum.

Drosos said the company is keeping its ear to the ground as to what consumers are interested in, looking into rental and subscription jewelry services as well as new designers.

In North America, where Signet’s banners include Kay, Jared and Zales, fourth-quarter same-store sales were up 10 percent.

The company noted particular strength in the bridal and fashion categories.

All U.S. banners reported same-store sales growth for the second consecutive quarter, noted Signet.

Brick-and-mortar same-store sales in North America were up less than 1 percent, while online sales rose 66 percent.

Average transaction value (ATV) inched up 1 percent while the number of transactions was up 10 percent.

For the full year, same-store sales were down 10 percent. Online sales were up 56 percent while brick and mortar sales declined 19 percent. ATV was flat to last year while the number of transactions fell 8 percent.


In the U.K., fourth quarter same-store sales fell 28 percent.

Brick-and-mortar sales plummeted 56 percent as e-commerce sales more than doubled, up 115 percent. ATV increased 6 percent while the number of transactions dropped 30 percent.

For the full year, same-store sales were down 25  percent. Online sales were up 81 percent while brick and mortar sales declined 42 percent. ATV was up 9 percent while the number of transactions fell 30 percent.

Following the third year of its Path to Brilliance transformation plan, Signet said Thursday it is moving into the next phase, “Inspiring Brilliance.”

The plan includes growing services revenue, expanding its luxury and value segments, bolstering digital commerce, and utilizing its data.

As for store count, Signet had 2,833 stores at the close of its fiscal year on Jan. 30, 375 fewer than the end of fiscal 2020. It closed 395 stores this fiscal year, which is FY21 for Signet.

The company is planning to close more than 100 stores and open more than 100 in stronger locations this fiscal year.

Signet has been optimizing its store footprint in recent years, moving away from low-performing malls to off-mall locations. It also has plans to add kiosks in underserved markets.

Looking ahead to fiscal 2022, the company expects to see first-quarter revenue between $1.42 billion and $1.46 billion while full-year revenue is expected to total between $5.85 billion and $6 billion.

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

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