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As Signet Successfully Expands Beyond Mall Mainstay to E-Commerce, Its Next Goal Is Affordable Luxury And Designer Jewelry March 31, 2021 (0 comments)


Akron, OH—The COVID-19 pandemic could have been the final straw for Signet. Already facing uphill battles on multiple fronts, the retailer launched a turnaround initiative under then-new CEO Gina Drosos, whose three-year “Path To Brilliance” plan launched in July 2018.

Oddly, the pandemic turned out to be just what the retail doctor ordered. In this article in The DrumSignet’s chief marketing officer Bill Brace—who came from Proctor & Gamble, Drosos’s old stomping grounds—details how the jeweler seized the opportunity to change some of its core marketing strategies and find a better fit with today’s customers.

Brace told The Drum that Signet was too over-reliant on its longtime strategy of TV-centric marketing and real estate expansion. “Frankly, we missed the boat on some of the more digital aspects of the purchase journey,” he told The DrumFrom the article:

At the core of the strategy was not only taking a good hard look at how consumers were buying, but also who was buying. “We took a more customer-centric approach to everything. We reinvented our campaigns to include more modern and, frankly, more diverse depictions of love and relationships,” says Brace.

Its efforts paid off. Of course, the entire jewelry industry enjoyed a stellar holiday because of the pandemic and a refocus of dollars from experiential categories to jewelry, but Signet’s stores were no exception. The jeweler had its best holiday season in nine years and its e-commerce revenue grew 71%, says the article

Brace says the core of improving the online experience was to make it more human—and make the store experience more digital. Among those improvements are virtual consultations with an associate, enhanced photography—including the ability to blow up an image up to 40 times its original size—and adding visual search where customers can upload a photo of what they like and find something similar.

In a separate interview with Pamela Danziger of Unity Marketing, CEO Drosos outlined plans for her next phase of Signet’s turnaround, called “Inspiring Brilliance.” Path To Brilliance was largely focused on improving the experience for Signet’s current customers; the Inspiring Brilliance program will build on those accomplishments and add a focus on expanding into new customer categories. Not least of those is a bigger reach upward into the entry-luxury segment, as well as down into the lower-end value segment.

Gina Drosos, CEO of Signet

“Don’t mistake this stretch up to affordable luxury as us becoming unfocused or thinking we can be all things to all people in the jewelry category,” Drosos told Danziger. The company already has had success in higher price points in its Jared division, and the introduction of The Jared Foundry custom design studio is an experience traditionally limited to luxury stores. Meanwhile, the Zales division is putting a new emphasis on contemporary, independent jewelry designers such as Alexis Mazza and Sarah Graham, through its Zales Designer Spotlight series. 

Meanwhile, Signet’s expansion into the lower-end value segment will be done mainly through its Piercing Pagoda division.

Read the full interview with Gina Drosos here.

Read the full Drum article here.

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