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Signet Loss Deepens Amid Covid-19 Closures

Jun 9, 2020 10:58 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Signet Jewelers’ net loss increased to $190 million in the first fiscal quarter as the company closed all its stores for most of the period.

That figure compares with a loss of $10 million during the same period a year ago, the retailer, which owns Kay, Jared and Zales, reported Tuesday. The company began closing locations in late March.

Revenue declined 40.5% to $852.1 million in the 13 weeks ending May 2, while same-store sales — at branches open for a year or more — slid 40%. Sales in North America plunged 40% to $781.1 million. Group sales between the start of the quarter on February 1 and the beginning of the store closures were recording growth in the low-single-digit percentages, the retailer said.

Signet has since reopened 1,100 stores, and noted an “encouraging” performance at those locations, with sales increasing on a week-over-week basis.

E-commerce sales rose 7% to $164.7 million as customers turned to online shopping while stores remained locked. James Allen, the company’s online retail brand, shut its distribution center in New York during the pandemic; excluding the impact of that closure, group e-commerce revenues rose 18%.

The company built on the e-commerce improvements it had already implemented through its Path to Brilliance transformation program, noting that it had upgraded its digital platforms to meet the stronger demand during the virus outbreak.

“We…adapted our e-commerce operating model to serve customers during stay-at-home restrictions with new technology, virtual consultation and selling solutions,” said Signet CEO Virginia Drosos.

During the 10-week closure, the company served more than 20 million customers and held 100,000 virtual consultations, it noted.

Signet will permanently close at least 150 stores in North America and 80 in the UK that had been operating before the coronavirus. It plans to shut at least 150 additional stores by the end of the fiscal year ending early 2021, it added.

Signet’s share price fell more than 13% in early trading Tuesday.

Image: A Kay Jewelers store. (BravoKiloVideo/Shutterstock)
Tags: James Allen, Jared, kay, Rapaport News, Signet, Signet Jewelers, Virginia Drosos, zales
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