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Q&A: Signet plans for ‘negative’ same store sales despite consumer vaccine positivity

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H Samuel and Ernest Jones owner Signet claimed yesterday that Covid vaccines have boosted its business through Q1 2021, so much so that it has revised its 2022 fiscal year financial forecast.

It revealed that, on top of the impact of the Covid vaccine rollouts around the world, the company believes some of its latest strategic initiatives are also paying off.

Professional Jeweller caught up with David Bouffard, Signet’s vice president of corporate affairs, about the announcement to find out more.

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Which strategic initiatives do you think have been especially successful so far this year?

Signet has seen stronger than expected conversion and average ticket values in the first quarter.

The company believes this topline strength is likely due to a combination of traction from strategic initiatives as well as tailwinds from stimulus, tax refunds and consumer enthusiasm on the heels of vaccine rollouts – particularly during the company’s guest appreciation events in late March.

What makes you think that the vaccine is improving matters?

As the vaccine rollout progresses, there could be a shift of consumer discretionary spending away from the jewellery category toward experience-oriented categories, the magnitude and timing of which is difficult to predict.

Further, Signet expects categories with pent up demand to be promotional in order to capture discretionary spend.

Do you see this being a temporary surge in sales or a long-term trend moving forwards?

While Signet’s transformational initiatives continue to gain traction, the company is conservatively planning for same store sales to be negative in the second half of the fiscal year.

Depending on the timing and extent of potential shifts in spending, future results could differ materially from current guidance.

Is this news focused solely on the US side of the business or the company globally? How is Signet faring across different countries at the moment?

Continued uncertainty surrounding multiple factors include the magnitude and potential resurgence of Covid-19 in key trade areas, extended duration of heightened unemployment, supply chain disruptions and macro or governmental influences on consumers’ ability to spend, particularly in discretionary categories like jewellery.

Further, there can be no assurance that preliminary quarter-to-date trends will continue for the remainder of the first quarter and are not indicative of future performance.

We report our Q1 results in early June, at which time we will provide financial results by geographic region.

Read more about Signet’s announcement that Covid vaccines are boosting consumer positivity below:

Signet credits Covid vaccines for surprise stock surge

Tags : David BouffardSignet
Sam Lewis

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