Parent Company of Kay, Zales, Jared to Close 150 Jewelry Stores

Hamilton, Bermuda — Signet Jewelers (NYSE: SIG), which owns jewelry retailers Kay, Zales and Jared, will close approximately 150 North American stores after the 2019 holiday shopping season, the company said in its latest earnings report.

These store closings follow Signet’s previous shuttering of 262 stores, most of them in North America, and are part of a larger downsizing program that will reduce the Bermuda-based retailer’s total store count by 13 percent over a three-year period.

According to the earnings report, Signet’s same-store sales declined by 2 percent during the fourth quarter of the most recent fiscal year, which ended Feb. 2, 2019. Same-store sales were projected to drop by another 2.5 percent during the current fiscal year.

In a statement, Signet CEO Virginia Drosos pointed to several factors behind the company’s struggles, including increased competition in the jewelry space and weak demand from the United Kingdom market. Drosos also noted that sales of select merchandise for the holiday season fell below projections.

A Signet spokesperson also told Business Insider that the broader struggles of American malls, in which many Signet stores are housed, contributed to the decision to close this wave of stores.

“Signet is too highly exposed to lower performing malls, so we are being highly disciplined in evaluating our store performance,” the spokesperson said. “Decisions on which stores to close will be economically driven and based on the profitability and potential of each store, including our ability to renegotiate leases at favorable rates.”

Part of the company’s restructuring program centers on repositioning stores in off-mall locations, with an emphasis on limiting the total number of new openings.

Signet currently operates about 3,300 stores worldwide under the brands of Kay, Zales, Jared and Piercing Pagoda. Approximately 85 percent of those locations are in the United States.

Signet’s stock price opened at $26.86 per share Monday, April 8, down from $37.56 per share a year ago. Stocks have been in a years-long slide from a peak of $150.94 per share Oct. 30, 2015.

— Taylor Williams

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