Signet Jewelers Limited, the parent company of Kay, Jared and Zale jewelers in the US, says that same store sales dipped by 5.3% in the crucial holiday season.
Total sales for the group, which also includes a $177 million business in the UK, decreased 3.1% in the nine weeks ended December 30, 2017.
2017 was a transition year for Signet as it works to balance the challenge of too many physical stores with the fierce competition of digital sales.
Prestige watch sales have been rising for the company, but this has not been sufficient to compensate for softness in its traditional jewelry business.
“Our strategic initiatives to bring innovation to both our bridal and fashion assortments and lead key market trends, supported by targeted marketing and promotional strategies, helped drive sales in Zale. Additionally, our efforts to enhance our digital presence and OmniChannel capabilities drove strong customer engagement and marketing efficiencies. We are resolutely focused on addressing credit transition issues in our Sterling division to return to growth there as well,” says Virginia Drosos, chief executive officer of Signet Jewelers.
Signet’s total sales were $1,881.7 million, down $59.2 million or 3.1%, compared to $1,940.9 million in prior year.
Same store sales decreased 5.3%. Sales declines were primarily driven by weakness in the Sterling division [Kay and Jared], impacted predominantly by the credit outsourcing transition which accounted for approximately two-thirds of the decrease.
Signet’s e-commerce sales for the holiday period were $210.5 million, up $68.0 million or 47.7%, compared to $142.5 million in 2016.