Signet Jewelers Holidays Sales call Notes

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Signet Jewelers’ (SIG) CEO Mark Light on Holiday Sales Conference Call

Holiday sales results were solid

“Our holiday sales results were solid across most of our global store portfolio and especially strong in U.S. malls. Signet continues to deliver tremendous success inside the mall driven by Kay, Zales and Piercing Pagoda.”

Lower mall traffic doesn’t hurt us as much because our purchases are premeditated

“As far as the U.S. mall traffic, obviously we all tracked the numbers that the numbers were down year-on-year and it doesn’t help us the traffic is down but it doesn’t hurt us as much as our retailer peers in the malls because we’ve said this for a while that our purchases are premeditated purchase and people are looking for jewelry and specifically people are looking for engagement rings. They’re doing a lot of work and thinking about it ahead of time and going online and doing a lot of online shopping and studying. So our purchase is a premeditated purchase for certain engagement rings and definitely in gift giving. So we believe because of that premeditation and because the purchases are driven by emotional connection to the products that we’re not as affected by mall traffic as exemplified in our sales over the fourth quarter in November, December.”

Jewelry promotional environment was about the same as last year

“As far as the promotional environment and overall retail, it would seem to be a little bit more promotional. I would say in our category in jewelry it was not a lot more promotional. So as a whole, I would say retail was a little more promotional than previous year, but in the jewelry category, it was comparable to the previous year.”

There are some modest shifts in the credit portfolio, but nothing unprecedented

“I think it’s very important that everybody understands us. We’ve been running a credit portfolio for well over 30 years, well over 30 years and we’ve been through good times and bad times of the recessions and we’ve been able to manage our accounts receivable appropriately and arguable better than most during all times over the last 30-plus years. So this credit as Michele said, there is modest shifts going on, but there is nothing that’s unprecedented for us. So we have every confidence in the way we manage our credit portfolio and the profitability of our credit portfolio. I just want to reinforce that because there seems to be some concerns about our credit portfolio and we just think it’s unwarranted quite frankly”

Performance got better as holiday got closer

“We started off strong as we said at the third quarter announcement, but our performance continued to become stronger and stronger closer to the end of the holiday. So we continue to see business being pushed later and later into the Holiday season across all of our brands.’

Michele Santana

Credit portfolio very much in line with expectations

“our credit portfolio is profitable and the performance in Q4 is very much in line with our expectations. We’re very pleased with our holiday results allowing us to narrow our financial guidance to the top end of our prior range.”

We’re pleased with the performance of the credit portfolio

“The credit portfolio as I mentioned is performing exactly very much so in line with our expectation. We’re very pleased with the performance. Early on the initiatives that we put forth to favorably influence that mix seem to be working in the right direction.”

All is well in the world of credits

“I can’t offer any more insight other than the comments that we made but all is well in the world of credits.”