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Same-store sales drop 3.8% in tough Q4 for Signet UK

The UK division of jewellery giant Signet, incorporating H Samuel and Ernest Jones, experienced a 3.8% drop in same-store sales to $227.6m (£187m) in the 13 weeks ending January 28, 2017 (Q4 2017).

In comparison to the same period in the previous financial year, same-store sales in the crucial festive period fell by 5.3% at H Samuel to $119.7m (£98m), and 2.1% at Ernest Jones to $107.9m (£88.7m).

The decline was driven by lower sales in fashion jewellery, fashion watches and gifts, according to Signet, which saw some of its losses counteracted with strong bridal and luxury watch sales.

In terms of average transaction values, the UK division saw prices jump by 8%. However, much of this positivity was offset by an 11.8% decrease in the number of transactions made.

Overall, Signet’s total sales for Q4 reached $2.26bn (£1.8bn), down 5.1% compared to the 13 weeks ended January 30, 2016.

Signet chief executive officer, Mark Light, commented: “Signet had a challenging fourth quarter and fiscal year, but we delivered top-and-bottom lines for the fourth quarter within our revised expectations. This was driven principally by performance from select categories and collections including diamond fashion jewellery, bracelets, and earrings.”

Light also noted that Signet is focusing on omni-channel shopping and is directing resources to improved e-commerce channels.

When considering the entire 2017 fiscal year, Signet’s sales fell 2.2% compared to the previous year. Same store sales also decreased across the year. Honing in on the UK in 2017, same store sales increased by 0.1% across FY 2017, with average transaction values up 6%.

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