Signet Jewellers, the parent company of H. Samuel and Ernest Jones, has reported a dip in like-for-like sales over the Christmas period.
Its UK division saw like-for-like sales slide by 3.1%, which reflected a “difficult operating environment in the UK”.
Whilst e-commerce sales grew by 15.8%, brick and mortar sales declined 6% in the nine week period ended 4 January 2020.
Virginia C. Drosos, CEO, said: “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.
“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.”
She added: “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 optimizing our cost structure and continuing to right-size our store base, as well as more effectively managing our inventory.
“As we enter the second year of our Path to Brilliance transformation, we expect to accelerate initiatives to enhance our product assortment, marketing personalization and analytics, promotional effectiveness, service offerings, and e-commerce to deliver a more seamless and engaging OmniChannel customer experience.”