Signet Jewelers reported disappointing 2018 holiday season sales of $1.84 billion, down 2.5 percent in a comparison with the same period in 2017. Same store sales dropped 1.3 percent. The group’s eCommerce sales in the period, at $222.3 million, were up 5.6 percent year-over-year, while brick and mortar same store sales declined 2.2 percent.
The group has revised its fourth-quarter guidance to same store sales being down between 1.6 and 2.5 percent, while guidance for the whole of fiscal 2019 is flat same store sales.
Chief Executive Virginia Drosos commented, "Our holiday season performance fell short of our expectations. Early improvements in refreshed merchandise assortment, digital marketing and OmniChannel were more than offset by larger than expected declines in legacy product lines.
She added, “In addition, the competitive promotional environment we saw early in the season intensified in December and despite our increased promotional investments, we experienced reduced traffic during key December gifting weeks. Combined with higher than expected credit costs, these factors negatively impacted our profitability.”
Drosos continued, “These holiday results reinforce the need to take even faster action to improve our financial and operational performance. We will move decisively to improve profitability through aggressively optimising our cost structure and continuing to right-size our store base, as well as more effectively managing our inventory.”
She went on to say, “As we enter the second year of our Path to Brilliance transformation, we expect to accelerate initiatives to enhance our product assortment, marketing personalisation and analytics, promotional effectiveness, service offerings, and e-commerce to deliver a more seamless and engaging OmniChannel customer experience. We will provide an update on our plans for FY2020 when we report our fourth quarter earnings in March.”