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Holiday sales slump by 19% for H. Samuel and Ernest Jones

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Signet Jewelers’ Christmas holiday sales tell a tale of two countries taking different approaches to get through the current winter swell of covid 19.

In the United States, where restrictions are drawn up by state governors, most of which have prioritised keeping the economy moving as much as the pandemic allows, sales rose by 7.8% for the nine weeks to January 2.

On this side of The Pond, the emergence of a more transmissible variant of the virus, which triggered increasingly tight lock downs and closures as Christmas approached, meant same store sales slumped by 19.2% at Ernest Jones and H. Samuel stores.

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Ecommerce for Signet retailers in the UK rose by 92.8%, which partially offset the drop in store sales, the company said today.

Including the UK and USA operations, Signet’s preliminary total sales for the Holiday Season were $1.8 billion, flat to last year.

Preliminary same store sales (SSS) improved 5.6% year over year.

eCommerce sales were up 60.8% year over year, while Signet’s 2,866 stores reflect brick and mortar SSS declined of 4.1%. As of January 2nd, the company has closed 355 of its planned 380 store closures this fiscal year.

“Despite considerable macro hurdles, the Signet team delivered strong holiday performance – an achievement that demonstrates the power of our multi-year Path to Brilliance transformation strategy and the agility, innovation, and determination of our people,” said Signet CEO Virginia Drosos.

“Our results were driven by new digital and fulfillment capabilities, increasingly personalized and insight-based marketing, banner portfolio differentiation, and a strong merchandising strategy that included competitive newness and a strengthened core assortment — all of which increased conversion, attracted new customers, and increased market share. Our sales momentum coupled with strong profit generation are reflective of our team’s excellent execution and new ways to help our customers Celebrate Life and Express Love whenever and however they desire to shop.”

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