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EXCLUSIVE: What is the difference between H Samuel and Ernest Jones?


Our recent interview with Signet UK managing director, Neil Old, got us thinking: what is the strategic difference today between the company’s two powerhouse retailers, H Samuel and Ernest Jones?

This is a pertinent question whenever one company owns two businesses that, from the outside at least, appear very similar in their customer base, function and operation.

What sets the two brands apart? Coincidentally, this is a question that the Signet UK managing director has been asking himself recently.

“In terms of the main differences,” Neil Old tells Professional Jeweller, “it’s around the customer.

“We spent a lot of time actually, even during lockdown, doing a lot of research around who is the H Samuel customer? Who is the Ernest Jones customer? A lot of quantitative and qualitative customer insight.”

The outcome of that research? Old admits that maybe the lines between the brands have become blurred at times.

He says: “As we go forward you will see a much clearer delineation between the two businesses in terms of the products they offer and the promotions they run.

“But,” he adds, “the businesses have got the same strength behind them. And they’re both incredibly powerful brands.

“They’re two of the best known jewellers on Britain’s high streets. Both businesses are in great shape.

“Having a strong group behind them we are able to share best practice, and we’ve got a very efficient group and infrastructure that powers both of the businesses.”


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