In a surprising turn of events for the jewellery retail industry, Signet Jewelers, the global leader in diamond jewellery retail based in the United States, has reported a notable decline in sales during its third quarter. The downturn, according to sources, is largely due to the current economic instability impacting consumer spending.
During this period, the company saw a 12 percent decrease in sales compared to the previous year, totaling $US1.39 billion (approximately $AU2.12 billion) for the quarter ending on 28 October. This decline was consistent across the board, with same-store sales also dropping by 12 percent. A sector-specific breakdown reveals a 15 percent fall in bridal revenue and a similar 12 percent dip in fashion jewellery sales. Interestingly, service-related aspects of the business, including repairs and jewellery rentals, experienced a 5 percent increase.
Signet Jewelers attributed these declining figures to the rising inflationary pressures that are tightening consumers’ discretionary spending. The bridal category, usually resilient, felt the brunt of reduced engagement activities.
However, there seems to be a glimmer of hope with a rebound in demand for bridal jewellery noted in November. The company forecasts fourth-quarter sales to be in the range of $US2.4 billion to $US2.6 billion, which, despite being a 10 percent year-on-year drop, shows signs of stabilization.
Virginia Drosos, the CEO of Signet Jewelers, commented on the trend observed over the Black Friday weekend. She noted an improvement in engagement trends, aligning with the company’s expectations for the fourth quarter. Drosos remains optimistic about the holiday season, emphasizing that jewellery continues to be a preferred choice for gifting, especially in a market where value-conscious shopping is predominant.
Despite these challenges, Signet’s total sales for the first three quarters of the year amounted to $US4.67 billion (around $AU7.13 billion), marking a 10 percent decrease compared to the same period last year. This situation underscores the resilience and ongoing consumer interest in the jewellery sector, even as it navigates through economic uncertainties.