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Signet to Close 150 Stores Amid Economic Pressures

Most of the closures will likely be in traditional mall locations.

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Signet Jewelers Ltd. executives say they plan to close 150 stores over the next year.

The locations being shuttered are ones “that are not meeting our expectations for productivity,” Signet CEO Virginia C. Drosos said in a first-quarter earnings call.

Signet operates about 2,800 stores primarily under the brands of Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared, Banter by Piercing Pagoda, Diamonds Direct, Blue Nile, JamesAllen.com, Rocksbox, Peoples Jewellers, H. Samuel and Ernest Jones.

Most of the closures will likely be in traditional mall locations, said Joan Hilson, Signet’s chief financial officer.

Signet reported first-quarter sales of $1.7 billion, down $170.3 million or 9.3% from the same quarter a year ago.

Drosos said in a press release: “Our Signet team delivered our revenue and bottom-line commitments in Q1 despite macroeconomic headwinds that worsened late in the quarter. In line with our predictions, there were fewer engagements in the quarter resulting from COVID’s disruption of dating three years ago.

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“As we look to the balance of the year, we’re leaning in to leverage our differentiated capabilities, widen our competitive advantages, and drive market share gains. We are proactively addressing the dynamic retail climate, leveraging our team’s agility and flexible operating model to raise our cost savings target by up to $150 million while maintaining strategic investments.”

Hilson added: “Our updated Fiscal 2024 guidance reflects a recent deceleration of trends that have persisted into the second quarter, including a softer than expected Mother’s Day, increasing macro-economic pressures on consumers at more price points, and deeper competitive discounting. We built our fortressed balance sheet to strategically invest during periods of disruption. Our growing capabilities enable Signet to navigate this challenging macro environment, position us for success when the bridal recovery begins, and maintain strong margins while continuing to return capital to shareholders.”

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