For the nine weeks ending 31 December 2016 the company reported that same-store sales had decreased 4.6% compared with an increase of 5.1% in the nine-week period ending 2 January, 2016.
Total sales decreased 5.1% compared with the 5.3% increase in the preceding year, but at constant currency total sales fell 3.3% compared with an increase of 6.6% in the prior year.
The trading update reported that same-store sales across its UK division were down 3.7%, with H Samuel and Ernest Jones reporting declines of 4.9% and 2.2%, respectively. Total sales for the division were down 3.2%.
UK jewellery division total sales declines were driven by unfavourable currency exchange rates, while same-store decreases were driven primarily by fashion jewellery and beads – most notably at H Samuel. This was offset by higher sales of bridal jewellery and watches.
Mark Light, CEO, said the “disappointing” results were principally driven by underperformance in its United States-based Sterling Jewellers division’ ecommerce business .
“A preliminary view of market data suggests that the jewellery category was broadly flat to modestly down with in-store sales down mid-single-digits and e-commerce sales up double-digits,” he said.
“Signet’s in-store results were in-line with the jewellery market, but technical performance issues in Sterling’s ecommerce platform largely led to Signet’s lower-than-expected results.”