Jewellery giant Signet Jewellers has revealed that going forward it will be sharpening its focus on the mid-jewellery customer and improving the omni-channel experience in the UK.
In an exclusive interview with Professional Jeweller’s sister publication, WatchPro, Signet Jewelers president and chief customer officer Seb Hobbs commented: “We remain resolutely focused on addressing our challenges and making improvements for the future building on the solid foundations of our customer first strategy, our industry-leading talent and best-in-class customer experience. As customers shift towards online channels, Signet is responding to the change by enhancing our capabilities to succeed in this evolving retail landscape.
“Going forward, we will continue to sharpen our focus on the mid-market jewellery customer and improving our growth trajectory through a broader and deeper omni-channel emphasis.”
In the interview Hobbs claimed H Samuel is the number one specialty jewellery brand in the UK by number of stores, and targets the middle market. H Samuel accounted for 5% of Signet’s overall sales in the fiscal 2017, and as of Janary 28,2017, operates 304 stores.
Elsewhere, Hobbs said Ernest Jones is the leading upper-middle market jeweller in the UK by number of stores, and it also accounted for 5% of the company’s overall sales. Signet currently operates 204 Ernest Jones stores.
“H.Samuel has 150 years of jewellery heritage, with a target customer focused on fashion-trend oriented, everyday jewellery and watches. H.Samuel continues to focus on larger store formats in regional shopping centers, while Ernest Jones serves the upper middle market, with a target customer focused on high-quality, timeless jewellery and watches.”
Hobbs revealed that limited new real estate developments taking place makes it challenging to identify and secure suitable new store locations.
He explained: “The UK jewellery division has a more diverse range of store locations than in the US or Canada, including some exposure to smaller retail centers which do not justify the investment required to refurbish the site to the current store format. Consequently, the UK division is gradually closing stores in such locations as leases expire or satisfactory property transactions can be executed; however, the ability to secure such property transactions is not certain.
“In the UK we plan to continue the significant investments we have made over recent years in upgrading, expanding and enhancing the environment of our stores, particularly in Ernest Jones.”