Signet Holiday Sales decreased 5.3%
Signet Jewelers announced its sales for the 9 weeks ended December 30, 2017 (Holiday Season). According to Holiday Season Summary, Same store sales (SSS) decreased 5.3%; total sales decreased 3.1%. Implementation of strategic priorities drove double-digit eCommerce growth overall and SSS increase of 4.0% at Zale division.
Fiscal 2018 EPS guidance updated to reflect current year benefits of U.S. tax reform. Virginia C. Drosos, Chief Executive Officer of Signet Jewelers, said: “During the Holiday Season, we made positive progress on our strategic priorities, offset primarily by the negative impact of the credit outsourcing transition, as evident by the mixed performance across our banners and channels.
Our overall eCommerce business grew double-digits, and our Zale division, where our strategic initiatives are beginning to take hold unencumbered by the credit transition, delivered same store sales growth with strength in both bridal and fashion. Conversely, progress in our Sterling division was overshadowed by the negative impact of the credit outsourcing transition in stores.”
“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.”
“I thank our Team Members for their commitment to providing exceptional service to our customers, and for their hard work to improve the execution of our strategic priorities. We remain committed to building a more profitable, competitive, and efficient Signet.”
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. SSS decreased 5.3%. Sales declines were primarily driven by weakness in the Sterling division, impacted predominantly by the credit outsourcing transition which accounted for approximately two-thirds of the decrease.
Signet’s eCommerce sales were $210.5 million, up $68.0 million or 47.7%, compared to $142.5 million in prior year. eCommerce sales growth was led by the Sterling division, reflecting the R2Net acquisition and the successful implementation of several enhancements to its OmniChannel platforms, search efficacy, functionality, and digital and social media marketing.
Investments in search engine optimization led to a 48% increase in page-1 keyword search results and drove a nearly 20% increase in traffic to Sterling banners. R2Net eCommerce sales were $50.6 million, up 38.6%.
Bridal performance in Zale division was positive driven by innovation and newness in assortment, including Enchanted Disney, Vera Wang Love, solitaires and fancy cut diamonds, supported by targeted marketing and promotional strategies. This was offset by softness in Sterling division, particularly Kay bridal sales in stores, primarily due to the credit transition.
Fashion category delivered sales growth in Zale division, reflecting strengthened product assortment in key price points and leading trends such as stacking and layering and yellow gold. New styles, combined with targeted digital and social media marketing initiatives, helped deliver the solid performance in fashion.