Signet Jewelers, has closed all outlets of Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared, James Allen, Peoples and Piercing Pagoda banners and the company’s support centers from today, and will not reopen until the Coronavirus pandemic conditions allow.
CEO Virginia Drosos says that the group has been monitoring widely varying state-by-state and federal instructions on working practices, but feels it is right to close down the entire American network of stores to protect is staff and customers.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to all who have been impacted by this global pandemic. We greatly appreciate the many workers and family members who are caring for those in need. I also want to thank our dedicated Signet team members who have found many new and innovative ways to safely help our customers continue to celebrate love during this difficult time,” Ms Drosos says.
The group will be looking to business support packages to support its operations, but has committed only to paying its store teams in full through to April 4.
“Store team members will receive pay and benefits through April 4, 2020 in a combination of base pay and available paid time off provisions, at which time we will further assess the situation,” Ms Drosos explains. “We will continue to follow the guidelines of government and health officials in determining when we will reopen our stores. Most importantly, we will continue to make all decisions guided by our core value of People First.”
In its 2019 financial year, which ended in April last year, Signet Jewelers said it had 2,587 stores in the USA and Canada and global turnover of $6.25 billion.
Only 5% of turnover comes from watches.
Ms. Drosos continued, “The exceptional team, capabilities, and agility we have built through our Path to Brilliance transformation over the past two years strongly position us to navigate this time of uncertainty. Retailers are already experiencing the severe impact of the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy, and we are anticipating continued reduction in consumer spend. We are moving quickly and aggressively to strengthen Signet’s financial flexibility, prioritize investments, and reduce capital expenditures and operating expenses. This will include implementing reduced work hours, furloughs and reduced compensation across store and support center teams as we navigate this unprecedented environment.”