Overview - Signet Jewelers
In 2017, sales from Kay Jewelers, Zales, and Jared accounted for 79% of Signet Jewelers’ total revenue of $6,408 million. Besides Kay, Zales, and Jared, the other brands under Signet Jewelers’ umbrella are H.Samuel, Ernest Jones, Peoples Jewellers, Piercing Pagoda, and other regional brands. Kay, Zales, and Jared have received positive and negative press coverage over the past two years. These three brands have focused mainly on TV commercials for their marketing efforts. Below, I will provide an overview of Signet Jewelers, including the list of brands under its umbrella and key financial details. The press coverage and marketing efforts sections would focus on Kay, Zales, and Jared.
THE BRAND AND SUB BRANDS
Signet Jewelers operates more than 3,500 stores worldwide. The company also operates online diamond and bridal jewelry retailer JamesAllen.com. The seven main brands under Signet’s umbrella are Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared, H.Samuel, Ernest Jones, Peoples Jewellers, and Piercing Pagoda. The regional brands operated by Signet are Belden Jewelers, Marks & Morgan Jewelers, Goodman Jewelers, Osterman Jewelers, Gordon's Jewelers, Rogers Jewelers, JB Robinson Jewelers, Shaw’s Jewelers, LeRoy’s Jewelers, Weisfield Jewelers, and Mappins.
Kay Jewelers accounted for 40% ($2,540 million) of Signet’s sales in 2017. As of February 3, 2018, the brand operates 1,247 stores in the US. Kay targets mid-market jewelry customers.
Zales accounted for 20% ($1,257 million) of Signet’s sales in 2017. As of February 3, 2018, the brand operates 704 stores in the US. Zales focused on diamond jewelry in both bridal and fashion.
Jared - the Galleria of Jewelry accounted for 19% ($1,228 million) of Signet’s sales in 2017. As of February 3, 2018, the brand operates 274 stores in the US. Jared targets upper mid-market jewelry customers.
On November 22, 2017, Kay announced that it had launched a first-to-market Snapchat World Lens for the jewelry category. This partnership with Snapchat allowed users to utilize AR technology to try on several looks with Kay’s products before buying. Customers could also use the new lens to play an interactive game involving catching and stacking of falling rings and bracelets. Kay had also released a series of six TV spots in October/November 2017.
On May 26, 2016, it was reported that Kay was accused of swapping diamonds with cheap imitations. One customer stated that she became suspicious when a Kay employee could not find the diamond's certification number when she brought it to the store for repair. She found out that the diamond was switched to a cheaper stone after taking it to another jeweler for testing.
On September 27, 2017, Kay announced that it had partnered American Humane by becoming the organization’s corporate sponsor. As part of the partnership, Kay donated $200,000 to support American Humane’s initiative to promote the placing of more pets in children’s classrooms. Kay also launched a pet-themed jewelry collection called 'Love is a Four-Legged Word' to celebrate the partnership.
In 2016, Zales released a holiday TV spot that involved a lesbian couple. The TV spot had provoked some outrage online, leading One Million Moms to release a statement accusing the brand of “normalizing sin.” In response, the LGBTQ community vowed to support Zales by buying its products during the holiday season. Zales had also released a series of four TV spots for its Enchanted Disney Fine Jewelry collection (Belle, Cinderella, and Snow White) in October 2017.
On February 5, 2018, it was reported that independent fine jewelry retail chain Jensen Jewelers had filed a lawsuit against Zales. Jensen was accusing Zales of “misappropriating its name to reroute Google searches to its own website.” The lawsuit included a copy of a search that displays a Zales advertisement with the heading “Jensen Jewelers—Black Friday 35% Off Storewide—zales.com.”
On February 09, 2018, Zales announced that it had launched a piece of jewelry into space. The pendant was carried over 100,000 feet above the earth via a weather balloon and was brought back to earth with a parachute when the balloon burst. The pendant was auctioned off during the St. Jude Gourmet Gala to support the research programs at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
MARKETING EFFORTS In December 2016, Jared hosted a fine jewelry event at the Gwinnett Place store to promote its Le Vian diamond pieces. During the event, items such as the Le Vian chocolate diamonds and peach morganite, gladiator weave, sinuous swirls and floral lace jewelry designs were highlighted. The brand’s latest TV spot (released in February 2018) featured its unique engagement rings with colorful gemstones and black diamonds. Nine other TV spots could also be viewed on the brand’s media page on Signet’s website.
On March 28, 2017, Jared announced that it had launched the new TAG Heuer Connected Modular 45 Smartwatch. The smartwatch runs on the Android Wear 2.0 operating system and is compatible with both iOS and Android devices. It is available at select Jared stores and on its online store.
On February 8, 2018, Jared announced several initiatives related to Valentine’s Day. One of the initiatives was the special offer for customers to receive a $100 discount for their Le Vian jewelry purchase by using the code ‘100 LEVIAN.’ Jared also announced that it would be hosting the Jared Valentine’s Day Diamond Event.
Signet had generated a revenue of $6,408 million in 2017. Its operating income was $763 million while its net income was $543 million. Over the past one year, the company’s highest stock price was trading at $76.58 on November 16, 2017. Its lowest stock price was trading at $37.55 on March 14, 2018. Analysts believed that Signet’s announcement on March 14, 2018, to close more than 200 stores during this fiscal year led to the fall in the stock price.
In conclusion, sales from Kay Jewelers, Zales, and Jared accounted for 79% of Signet Jewelers’ total revenue in 2017. These brands have received positive and negative press coverage over the past two years. Marketing efforts by these three brands are mostly focused on TV commercials.