Jewelry store giant to close another 150 stores this year

5 years ago

Signet Jewelers Ltd. said it plans to close more than 150 stores nationwide this year as it continues to face a tough market for its jewelry stores, which include Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry and Piercing Pagoda.

The company, based in Hamilton, Bermuda, would not comment on whether any Maine stores would be affected.

“We do not publish a list of store openings or closures,” Signet spokesman David A. Bouffard wrote in an email to the Bangor Daily News on Sunday. “The 150 closings are part of our entire 3,334 store portfolio. Most store closings will occur at the end of our fiscal year, post-holiday.”

Signet made the announcement on Wednesday when it released financial results for fiscal year 2019, which ended Feb. 2, 2019. Same store sales were down for both the year and the fourth quarter.

Among the stores Signet owns in Maine are Kay Jewelers locations in the Bangor Mall, The Marketplace at Augusta, Hobby Lobby Plaza in Auburn, Aroostook Centre Mall in Presque Isle, Maine Mall and the Kay Jewelers Outlet in Freeport Village.

It also has a Zales store in the Bangor Mall, a Jared store in the Maine Mall and Piercing Pagoda stores in the Maine Mall and Bangor Mall.

Signet has been on a three-year plan since March 2018 to trim costs and reduce stores that are not performing well.

Stores are either being closed or repositioned to boost productivity, including adding store designs with digital elements and updating the appearance of some stores.

In fiscal year 2019, Signet closed 262 stores, and expects to close more than 150 stores this fiscal year.

It also plans to open a limited number of new stores, primarily consisting of repositioned stores moved to off-mall locations.

By the end of this fiscal year, Signet said it expects to have reduced its store base by 13 percent over a three-year period.