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Signet Eyes Holiday Success with De Beers Deal, Kay Upgrade

Oct 13, 2015 3:30 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Signet Jewelers is to rename its Kay Jewelers unbranded products as “Kay Now & Forever” as part of a wide range of holiday-season initiatives revealed in a recent analysts’ report published October 12.

Other proposals include the launch of 250 new-look Kay store formats that may push its clientele to a higher class of customer, as well as an arrangement with De Beers for two-stone diamond campaign under the “Ever Us” brand.

Pointing out that Signet’s executives were “not putting all their diamonds in one basket,” the report by investment bank Nomura outlined a raft of plans the jeweler has to boost revenues, including several planned improvements to its Kay brand. These include rebranding its unbranded products and strengthening its advertising strategy by putting out earlier advertisements in October to heighten interest in its products.

The publication said Signet had already benefited from increased investment in advertising but was looking to improve it. It also said Signet management felt it was not advertising for its Zale Jewelers business in the right channels and plans to shift to stronger channels.

The company is planning to roll out its new Kay store format in around 250 locations by the end of the financial year and said remodels to date had resulted in sales lifts across all metrics, although no figures are available. It is unclear whether these include any entirely new stores.

The new layouts include open-entry designs, clear display cases, cleaner lines, no banner advertisement and bright lighting, which Nomura said give “the perception of openness while showcasing the product.”

“Instead of counters that put associates and customers on opposite sides, the store is filled with side-by-side selling counters, which gives customers a sense of partnership with sales associates,” the report noted, adding that the new-look store “also seems to be aiming for a slightly higher middle-market jewelry customer.”

It is also set to roll out a range of bridal selling tools including a bridal boutique office, the report said.

Meanwhile, the deal with De Beers’ Forevermark brand aims to raise awareness and excitement around the new design, which will figure diamond pairs “representing one’s true love and best friend.” The product will be carried across Signet’s concepts and is expected to involve price points ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.

The design will initially be on rings and could expand to other categories depending on its success. Data-led testing of the Ever Us campaign had outperformed tests on “even iconic De Beers campaigns including the Three Stone, Past, Present & Future and Journey,” according to Nomura analysts Simeon A. Siegel and Gene Vladimirov, based on face-to-face meetings with Signet’s management.

“It’s a conscious effort to upgrade the [Kay stores] and a by-product could be that it would be more welcoming to a customer that walks by,” Siegel said in an interview with Rapaport News.
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Tags: branding, Kay Jewelers, Nomura, Rapaport News, Signet
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