Signet Jewellers, the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewellery, has declared a suspension of purchasing Russian mined diamonds in response to the invasion of Ukraine in late February.
Earlier this week the company announced that diamonds mined in Russia would not be purchased from suppliers by Signet retailers for the foreseeable future.
It’s a clash between two monumental influences of the global market, with Signet the largest diamond retailer in the most significant market, the US, and Russia the world’s largest diamond mining country.
The US market accounts for approximately half of the world’s diamond retail sales. Russia supplies approximately one third of the world’s diamonds, with more than 90 per cent of those diamonds mined by Alrosa.
Signet Jewellers CEO, Virginia Drosos, told Bloomberg that the company doesn’t expect any downturn despite the change in approach to supply.
“If we don’t buy Russian diamonds ourselves and if we require our vendors to also certify that they are not buying new Russian diamonds, we still have sufficient supply for the year and into the holidays,” she said.
The Signet Love Inspires Foundation also recently donated $US1 million to the Ukrainian branch of the Red Cross in order to assist humanitarian efforts.
Signet has suspended overall business interaction with Russian-owned entities since the beginning of the invasion in late February.
Drosos said that the company is proud to support humanitarian organisations such as the Red Cross.
“We put our purpose into action through the Signet Love Inspires Foundation and the generous contributions from our Signet team members. We give with a grateful heart to support the Red Cross organization’s critical mission to provide lifesaving help where it is so desperately needed.”
Signet celebrates a successful 2022
Signet is celebrating a tremendous increase in revenue for the 2022 fiscal year with a reported increase of nearly 50 per cent compared with the year previous.
Signet released its latest quarterly and annual financial report on March 13, with full year revenue for 2022 reaching $US7.8 billion, a sharp increase following a disappointing 2021 ($US5.3 billion).
Full year sales topped the fiscal year of ending in January of 2020 by 27.5 per cent, a clear indication of the company’s success during the international COVID-19 pandemic.
Interestingly, brick and mortar store sales have increased by 56.2 per cent compared to the year previous. Digital sales rose by more than 27 per cent.
Signet’s business interests primarily focused on the US market, with just $US492.4 million in revenue generated internationally. In comparison, Signet completed more than $US7 billion in sales in North America.
“The investments we have made in our connected commerce capabilities and differentiated banner assortment and marketing have driven meaningful share gains, with all categories and all banners outpacing jewellery industry growth,” Drosos said.
“Despite a challenging macro environment ahead, we believe that we are well-positioned in partnership with our strategic suppliers.
“We’re confident in the sustainable competitive advantages we’ve built and our ability to leverage our enhanced infrastructure and scale to continue growing ahead of the jewellery industry.”
Looking into the future, the company is projecting a further increase in sales generated from weddings as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.
With public gathering restrictions implemented by governments across the world commonly prohibiting weddings, couples will look to make up for lost time in the coming year by finally tying the knot.
Signet research, which is based on data from bookings at wedding venues, estimates an increase in bridal jewellery sales is on the horizon. The company currently holds an estimated 30 per cent of the market within the US.