Ernest Jones and H.Samuel sales slide by 6.7% in first quarter of 2018

Signet Jewelers’ sustained investment in ecommerce reaped rewards in the first quarter of its financial year as online sales contributed to world-wide turnover rising by 5.5% to $1.5 billion in the 13 weeks ended May 5.

Much of the increase in sales came from the addition of American online diamond jewellery specialist James Allen, which Signet acquired in September 2017.

Online sales across all segments now account for 10% of total sales, up from 5.8% in Q1 of 2017.

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The UK operation of Signet saw same store sales fall by 6.7% in the first quarter, with the more upmarket Ernest Jones registering a slump of almost 8% year-on-year to $65.5 million. H.Samuel turnover fell by 5.4% to $63.2 million.

“As we begin to implement our Signet Path to Brilliance transformation plan, we remain focused on driving operational improvement by executing on our Customer First, OmniChannel and Culture of Agility and Efficiency pillars,” said Signet Jewelers Chief Executive Officer Virginia C. Drosos. “In the first quarter, we saw signs of stabilization in our overall sales and once again achieved double digit growth in eCommerce.”

She continued, “Looking ahead, we expect second quarter revenues to be impacted by a tougher prior year same store sales comparison and calendar shifts. We are maintaining our full year 2019 guidance and are intensely focused on laying the foundation to support improved performance in the holiday season. While progress will continue to be gradual and incremental, we are confident Signet is on the right path to achieve long-term sustainable, profitable growth.”

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