November 28, 2023

Signet Jewelers CEO Gina Drosos on Thursday was optimistic about the company’s investments in e-commerce, telling CNBC she expected those to pay off even after the Covid pandemic ended.

“I think the pandemic has forever changed the way customers shop. We’re seeing a lot more customers coming to us online, even if they aren’t buying, looking at the selection, or studying, ”Drosos said on Closing Bell.

It translates into digital sales to be sure. Early Thursday, the owner of Zales and Kay Jewelers reported e-commerce revenue of $ 346.3 million for the quarter ended May 1, up 110% from the same period last year. It’s also up about 125% compared to the same quarter two years ago, before the Covid crisis.

Signet’s total revenue for the first quarter of 2022 was $ 1.69 billion, exceeding Wall Street’s expectations of $ 1.62 billion. Earnings per share of $ 2.23 exceeded analyst forecast of $ 1.27.

“Our transformation plan is working,” said Drosos, who has been Signet’s CEO since 2017. The former Procter & Gamble manager has been a board member of Signet since 2012.

Drosos said Signet took a number of steps to gain a share of the online jewelry market.

“We added more than 700 virtual jewelry advisors during the pandemic,” Drosos said, and the company recently added functionality through Apple’s Business Chat and Google’s Business Messages as well.

“We are rapidly improving our websites – more than 100 new features were added in the first quarter,” said Drosos. “We believe that when we combine a superior online experience with our scaled store space, we have a unique opportunity and competitive advantage.”

Signet, which also operates the Jared and Piercing Pagoda brands, has around 2,800 stores according to its earnings release. In March, Drosos told CNBC that the company wanted to “optimize” its locations, in part by reducing exposure to lower quality shopping malls.

Signet’s shares rose 14% on Thursday, hitting a new 52-week high of $ 74.80 during the day as investors reacted to the company’s pre-bell earnings results and the hike in its guidance for the full year.

Signet stock is up 467% over the past 12 months, based on Thursday’s closing price of $ 69.58 per share.