Signet Jewellers swings to loss in Q2

Signet Jewellers, the parent company of H.Samuel and Ernest Jones, swung to a loss of $81.7m (£62m) in its second quarter of trading, down from a loss of $36.1 (£27.4m) the year before. 

Total sales also fell by 34.9% to $888m (£623m) in the quarter ended August 1, 2020.

Meanwhile, same store sales were down by 31.3%, reflecting eCommerce growth of 72.1% to  $270.1m (£205m) year-on-year. 

Brick and Mortar sales improved “sequentially” as store openings accelerated from approximately 20% open by the end of May, to 75% open by the end of June, and 90% open by mid-July.

In addition, the group has seen an increased investment in itsOmniChannel platform, which has reportedly driven growth and leveraged scale to position it for increased market share. 

The group has also implemented a full-time virtual selling team, and has seen more than 15,000 store associates use virtual selling to engage with customers. 

In the same period, it served more than 300,000 customers through virtual consultations and increased its eCommerce distribution throughput five-fold. It will now continue to invest in digital capabilities to accelerate growth.

Virginia C. Drosos, CEO of the group, said: “Sales improved sequentially throughout the second quarter as we reopened stores and remained agile and innovative in these unprecedented times. 

“During the quarter, we also scaled our new virtual selling model, improved our merchandise assortment, and enhanced our targeted digital marketing to a strong consumer response.”

She added: “While same store sales were down 31.3% in the quarter given store closures, same store sales turned positive in late Q2 as we reached scale on store re-openings while driving high double-digit growth in eCommerce. 

“Momentum has continued into Q3 with preliminary August same store sales of 10.9% and eCommerce growth of 65.2%.”

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