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Owner of H Samuel and Ernest Jones undergoes huge structural shift in jewellery sales

Signet Group plc

Signet Jewelers enjoyed a successful fourth quarter to its ‘2021 fiscal year’ (ending 30 January, 2021), but the e-commerce boom was not enough to overcome the hurdles of the pandemic entirely.

Worldwide the company, which operates in the UK with H Samuel and Ernest Jones, saw total sales of $2.2 billion (£1.57 billion) in the 13 weeks ending 30 January, 2021, marking a 1.5% increase over the same period in 2019/2020.

Meanwhile Q4 e-commerce grew by 70.5% year-on-year, accounting for much of the sales growth and 23.4% of total sales, while bricks-and-mortar same-store sales were down 4.2%.

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Outside of North America, Signet reported that same-store sales decreased 28.3%, with e-commerce sales growth of 115.1% offset by bricks-and-mortar same-store sales decline of 56.2% reflecting the continued impact of Covid-19 restrictions.

However, for the entire year ending 30 January, 2021, Signet saw total sales of $5.2 billion (£3.7 billion) – $910.2 million (£652 million), or 14.8%, lower to the prior year on a reported basis, and 14.9% lower on a constant currency basis. Total same-store sales decreased 10.8% year-over-year.

E-commerce sales were $1.2 billion (£860 million), up 57.9% year-over-year, while e-commerce sales accounted for 22.7% of sales, up from 12.2% of sales in the prior year. Bricks-and-mortar same-store sales declined 21.3%.

“This quarter marked an important milestone for Signet as our team delivered a strong fourth quarter and third year of the company’s ‘Path to Brilliance’ transformation,” said Virginia C Drosos, CEO, continuing, “These results reflect the exceptionally hard work and resilience of our Signet team members in a uniquely challenging time.

“I’m so appreciative of their passion, commitment to our purpose, and agility in meeting the needs of our customers with new digital capabilities. They are the driving force behind our success and are positioning us for long-term growth.”

Drosos continued: “Our company today is stronger: we’re more innovative, efficient, and digitally advanced.

“We are capitalising on our momentum as we move into the next phase of our growth strategy called ‘Inspiring Brilliance.’

“It is focused on winning in our big banners, categories and countries; accelerating services revenue; broadening our mid-market with expansion in the accessible luxury and value segments; and accelerating digital commerce, all with an emphasis on leading innovation in the jewellery industry and growing the scope of Signet’s market.

“The cornerstone of this strategy will remain centered on our purpose of ‘Inspiring Love’ and being a catalyst for positive change in our company, industry and community.”

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Sam Lewis

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