Signet Jewelers, recently making unfortunate headlines with the reemergence of allegations for sexual harassment, has reported falling sales nearly across the board in the fourth quarter (the 13 weeks ended January 28, 2017), as overall same-stores sales fell 4.5% in the quarter, and 1.9% for fiscal year 2017. The 4.5% fall in Q4 sales compares unfavorably to a 4.9% increase in Q4 2016. They say that select merchandise and selling channels performed relatively well such as diamond fashion jewelry, bracelets, earrings, and the off-mall and kiosk selling channels. Sales fell at every division (Kay -5%, Jared -3.2%, Regional brands -16.4%, Zales -4.5%, Gordon’s -13.3%, U.K. division -3.8%, Canadian division -7.2%) except for Piercing Pagoda, where same store sales increased 5.7%.
Mark Light, Chief Executive Officer of Signet Jewelers, said, “Signet had a challenging fourth quarter and fiscal year," adding, "We are adapting to a challenging retail environment and weak mall traffic." He says the company recognizes the importance of an omni-channel experience to jewelry customers, and says the company is, "Making greater technology investments to improve customers' on-line experience." Additionally, Signet chairman Todd Stitzer released a statement that, "Reaffirms Commitment to Equal Opportunity", listing the company's accomplishments in this regard, and announcing, "additional steps to ensure our policies and practices are functioning as intended and to identify areas where we can further improve,” such as: Formation of a new board committee focused on respect in the workforce that will focus on programs and policies to support the advancement and development of their female team members that will appoint an independent consultant and establish an independent ombudsperson office.
We do not tolerate discrimination or harassment of any kind and we want to be sure that the framework we have in place for reporting, and responding to any such issues is robust and effective,” said Stitzer. “It is the intention of this Board and the senior management team to make certain that our culture and our Team Members are fully supported at every level, because culture and people have helped make Signet the leading company in our industry.”