AKRON, Ohio, June 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Signet Jewelers Ltd., (NYSE: SIG), the world's largest retailer of diamond jewelry, today announced details about how it's reimagining the jewelry buying experience since temporarily closing stores to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Over the last 10 weeks, the century-old company has accelerated its transformation into a channel-agnostic retailer, enabling store staff for the first time to serve customers from home using technology such as chat, video, social media and virtual by-appointment private shopping consultations. Signet is the parent company of Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared, Piercing Pagoda, Peoples, H. Samuel, Ernest Jones and digitally native Jamesallen.com.
"Since temporarily closing our stores in late March, we've empowered our people with new and innovative technology so they can continue their role as trusted advisors, helping our customers celebrate special moments and relationships," said Virginia C. Drosos, Chief Executive Officer, Signet Jewelers. "As we reopen more stores, customers can choose how they'd like to engage with our store brands - either a safe instore experience, a digital experience, or a mix of both. This underscores Signet's commitment to reimagining the jewelry customer experience, from education through ownership."
Customer response has been positive, which the company attributes to its signature, personalized customer service, as well as the video capability when stores are open, and the availability to shop when physical stores are closed. Signet's virtual service is available 9 am EST to 9 pm PST, seven days a week.
Signet's jewelry consultants across all its brands have connected with more than 20 million customers and conducted more than 100,000 virtual consultations since March 23, when the company temporarily closed its North American stores. During virtual appointments, customers can accomplish what they typically have done in a physical store – such as, working with a Jared consultant to custom design an engagement ring, or working with a Zales consultant to find the right pair of one-carat diamond studs. Recognizing that a growing number of customers are increasingly comfortable making their important jewelry purchases online, Signet will continue to expand its virtual consulting offerings as it reopens more stores in the coming months. The combination is unique to help meet the needs of the jewelry customer.
In 2018, Signet began laying the foundation to evolve its traditional brick-and-mortar business to one that combines physical and digital experiences. The company launched its three-year Path to Brilliance transformation plan, with a focus on expanding its online presence. In its fourth-quarter 2020 results, which included the December 2019 holidays, Signet reported the strategy was working and creating momentum, including eCommerce growth of 15% year over year, as well as same stores sales growth of 2.3%.
Signet reopens more stores, differently
Over the past roughly six weeks and in keeping with government guidance, Signet has reopened nearly 1,100 stores in states including Arizona, California Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia, with the most reopened stores in Texas and Florida – more than 120 each.
The reopened stores have prioritized safety with social distancing measures and rigorous new sanitizing protocols, while preserving the heart of the company's trademark welcoming atmosphere and service. Customers, for instance, will see employees regularly sanitize high-touch surfaces such as glass counters, jewelry cases and door handles. The company also rethought the jewelry try-on experience – each time someone tries on a piece of jewelry, an employee will use alcohol wipes to clean the item before and after. Employees are required to wear masks and, where appropriate, gloves.
As of June 2, more than three-quarters of Signet's reopened stores are open to the public, while the others are open strictly to employees who fulfill orders using the company's new curbside pickup option.
Curbside Concierge offers safety and security, with a unique password
In April, Signet rolled out its Curbside Concierge service as a new pickup option for customers at most of its reopened stores. The service is designed to be safe, convenient and secure.
Customers can book an appointment during store hours that's convenient for them; during the booking, they'll be given a secret password that they'll be asked to recite when they park at the designated curbside location. An employee will greet a customer in their car from a safe distance, confirm their identity and password, and complete the contactless transaction by placing the jewelry bag securely inside the customer's car. Signet expects to expand this service as it reopens more stores.
About Signet Jewelers
Signet Jewelers Limited is the world's largest retailer of diamond jewelry. Signet operates approximately 3,200 stores primarily under the name brands of Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared, H. Samuel, Ernest Jones, Peoples, Piercing Pagoda, and JamesAllen.com. Further information on Signet is available at www.signetjewelers.com. See also www.kay.com, www.zales.com, www.jared.com, www.hsamuel.co.uk, www.ernestjones.co.uk, www.peoplesjewellers.com, www.pagoda.com, and www.jamesallen.com.
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SOURCE Signet Jewelers Ltd.