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Signet Reports Bleak Holiday Season

Jan 11, 2017 10:27 AM   By Rapaport News
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Signet Jewelers endured disappointing holiday sales as technical issues on its ecommerce platform dampened its performance in an overall weak jewelry market.

The company lowered its guidance for the full year after sales fell 5.1 percent to $1.94 billion in the nine weeks that ended December 31. Same-store sales slid 4.6 percent, the largest U.S. jewelry retailer reported. Ecommerce sales slipped 2.4 percent to $142.5 million mainly because enhancements to retail websites at the Sterling Jewelers division, which comprises Kay Jewelers, Jared and its U.S. regional brands, failed to cope with the high levels of holiday traffic.

By contrast, in-store jewelry sales were in sync with the jewelry market, said Mark Light, Signet’s chief executive officer.

“A preliminary view suggests the jewelry category was broadly flat to modestly down, with in-store sales down mid-single digits and ecommerce sales up double digits,” Light said. “Signet’s in-store results were in line with the jewelry market, but technical performance issues in Sterling’s ecommerce platform largely led to Signet’s lower-than-expected results.”

Fashion jewelry such as earrings and bracelets performed relatively well, as did Ever Us two-stone rings and the Vera Wang Love range.

The company lowered its outlook for same-store sales for the fourth quarter, predicting a decline of 4.3 percent to 4.8 percent compared with earlier guidance of a 2 percent to 4 percent drop. For the full fiscal year, Signet forecast sales will decline 2 percent to 2.5 percent, versus an earlier prediction of a 1 percent to 2.5 percent decrease.

Signet shares were down 4.5 percent Wednesday morning on the New York Stock Exchange following the announcement.

Images: Screenshot from Zale commercial
Tags: Ever Us, Jewelry, Jewelry sales, Mark Light, Rapaport News, retail, Signet, Signet Jewelers, Vera Wang Love
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