Parent company of Zales, Kay Jewelers sparkles amid strong holiday sales

Marianne Wilson
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Signet Jewelers Ltd. projected better-than-expected sales for the fourth quarter, following a robust holiday season during which all its U.S. banners posted positive same-store sales.

The company, whose banners include Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared, Piercing Pagoda and others, said that its total same-store sales (online and physical) for holiday period (nine weeks ending Jan.2) rose 5.6% year over year. E-commerce comp sales were up 60.8% while comp sales in Signet's 2,866 physical stores fell 4.1%. (As of January 2, the company has closed 355 of its planned 380 store closures this fiscal year.)

In North America, Signet’s total same-store sales increased 7.8%. Transactions rose 4.4% and average transaction value increased 1.6%.  E-commerce comp sales grew 57.5%. Brick-and-mortar comp sales declined 0.8%.

Signet’s preliminary total sales for the holiday season were $1.8 billion, flat to last year. 

Signet credited its expanded digital and fulfillment capabilities for helping to drive its holiday success. The jeweler rolled out several new digital functions in time for the holiday season, including buy-online-pickup-in-store, ship from store, virtual selling, more effective customer assistance and improved website navigation, curation, and visualization.

"Despite considerable macro hurdles, the Signet team delivered strong holiday performance – an achievement that demonstrates the power of our multi-year Path to Brilliance transformation strategy and the agility, innovation, and determination of our people," said Virginia C. Drosos, CEO. "Our results were driven by new digital and fulfillment capabilities, increasingly personalized and insight-based marketing, banner portfolio differentiation, and a strong merchandising strategy that included competitive newness and a strengthened core assortment -- all of which increased conversion, attracted new customers, and increased market share.”

Signet operates approximately 2,900 stores primarily under the name brands of Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared, H.Samuel, Ernest Jones, Peoples, Piercing Pagoda, and