Despite rumours that Signet is looking to offload its H Samuel and Ernest Jones stores, the jewellery giant has insisted it will keep investing in the UK.
Signet chief executive Mike Barnes told press: “We will continue to make investments [in the UK]. We are moving from certain sites and trialling merchandise… we see an opportunity there.”
Barnes refused to comment on speculation last month that Signet was in the process of sounding out a buyer for its underperforming UK business via its financial advisors at Lazard. A sale would include 400 H Samuel stores and 190 Ernest Jones and would be expected to reach £400 million- £600 million.
In contrast to US like-for-like sales which jumped 12.5 percent, UK sales for the jeweller rose just 0.2 percent in the 13 weeks to 30 April.
Barnes admitted the performance had been led by its US division, while the UK division “continued to operate well in a challenging economy.”
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