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Signet Scaling Back China Buying

Retailer believes it can avoid passing costs of tariffs on to consumers.
Sep 9, 2019 11:33 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Signet Jewelers plans to reduce its purchasing of Chinese goods by about 50%, aiming to minimize the impact of US tariffs on the business.

“We have been successful in working with our vendors to move a significant amount of our China exposure to other countries,” Signet CEO Gina Drosos said last week. The percentage of merchandise the retailer sources from the key market will be in the “mid teens” by the end of the current fiscal year on February 2, 2020, compared with 30% in June 2019, the executive said in an investor call transcribed by Seeking Alpha.

As a result, Signet does not expect to pass the costs of the tariffs on to consumers, Drosos noted, despite having warned of a potential impact on retail prices in a previous conference call in June. Supply-chain flexibility will also help the company achieve the full-year operating profits it had forecast.

The Trump administration introduced additional duties of 15% on a range of Chinese products, including jewelry, from September 1.

“Going forward, we are continuing to work through mitigation strategies in partnership with our multinational vendors,” Drosos added.

Image: Cargo containers at a harbor in Shanghai, China. (Shutterstock)
Tags: China, Gina Drosos, Jewelry, Rapaport News, Signet, Signet Jewelers, tariffs, trade, Trade War
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