Jewelry store chain closing 400 stores


Energy companies aren’t the only ones shutting down operations. So is Signet Jewelers, a company that plans to close at least 400 stores nationally.

However, Bill Hancock, the Business Services and Rapid Response Coordinator at Oklahoma’s Office of Workforce Development said he isn’t sure what the impact will be in the company’s Oklahoma operations.

He said Signet’s Oklahoma operations includes 3 Zales stores, one Jared and four Kay stores. Hancock has yet to hear whether any of them might be closed.

In announcing its national plans, Signet Jewelers blamed the closing decision on the COVID-19 pandemic. The company explained at least 150 stores in North America and 80 in the United Kingdom won’t reopen after closing due to the coronavirus impact. The firm said it will also close “at least an additional 150 stores by the end of its fiscal year.

Signet operates an estimated 3,200 stores under the Kay Jewelers, Zales,  Jared, H. Samuel, Ernest Jones, Peoples and Piercing Pagoda and the website.

Rather than operate stores for in-person contact and sales, Signet intends to shift to an e-commerce focus. While the retailer said digital sales in the quarter rose 6.7% to $164.7 million it wasn’t enough to offset the first quarter overall declines. Total sales fell more than 40% to $852.1 million and the operating loss expanded to $291.1 million or 34.2% of sales.