Zales, Jared’s, and Kay to close 170 stores amid slow sales and fake diamond scandal

Mar 11, 2017
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Signet Jewelers Limited, the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry, announced plans to close between 165 and 170 stores by early 2018. Signet is the parent company to Zales, Kay Jewelers, and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry. The stores set to close are those considered to be underperforming, and will mostly be mall-based regional brands.

Many of Signet’s chains are traditionally located within malls, and they are feeling the slowdown in foot traffic. This has resulted in a same stores sales decline of 4.6% in the fourth quarter, and 1.9% for the fiscal year. Aside from declining sales, the company has been battling two major controversies that may have resulted in a change in customer opinion.

In 2016 several customers complained that after they had taken their diamond jewelry to Kay Jewelers, the rare stones were replaced with cheap imitations. Chrissy Clarius, a Kay Jewelers customer, said she would bring her $4,300 engagement ring to Kay’s every six months to get it inspected, as this was part of the company’s gemstone guarantee that insures the stone will “last forever.” After taking the ring in February of 2016 for its six-month checkup, she said the Kay employee couldn’t find the certification number on the diamond. Suspicious, she took the ring to another jeweler, who tested the stone and declared that it was moissanite, which is a cheaper stone. Kay allegedly tested the stone and claimed that it was a diamond, but Chrissy was not convinced. She filed a police report and a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, and the attorney general’s office. After hearing her story, several more women came forward and claimed to have had similar problems with Kay.

Besides the allegations of cheating customers out of quality jewelry, Signet Jewelers is also dealing with a large sexual harassment lawsuit stating the company fostered a culture of sexual harassment and discrimination. A case starting with 15 women in 2008 has since grown into a 69,000 class-action suit, with sworn statements released this week. The allegations include discrimination in pay and promotional practices, as well as sexual harassment in the workplace which was prevalent throughout the late 1990s and 2000s. CEO Mark Light is one of the executives named in the filings for allegedly promoting female employees if they responded positively to sexual advances. Signet has dismissed the claims as “distorted and inaccurate.”



Born and raised in the backwoods of Michigan, Thomas Dishaw is an independent writer and entrepreneur. His work has been criticized in Slate, Right Wing Watch, Gawker, Daily Mail, and NY Daily News. Thomas currently writes for and resides in Delaware with his wife and Shih Tzu, where they enjoy healthy eating, politics, MSU Spartans and conservative values.
  • Rumplestiltskin

    They’re dropping like flies…… Why? Because our economy is not picking up as the Obama Administration tried to convince everyone. Financially, America is balancing on the precipice of Armageddon because the people have been lied to so often and for so long about how every decision coming out of Washington is for our benefit that everyone believed that we were the greatest when in actuality we were being sold down the river.

    Large investment firms make billions off consumer’s ignorance of economics, as they sent all our manufacturing overseas to benefit the stake and stock holders in those large corporations while lying that we could have all the cheap products we wanted with little travail.

    Now that this is all coming back to bite them in the Ass, they have no choice but to shutter under performing stores because they don’t have enough sales to support their overhead and pay their stockholders the dividends they were promised. DUH !!!


    • boxer7

      I was an economics major and everything this guy has said makes perfect sense. You can’t create an economy by exporting your good paying jobs. I hope all these idiot corporations enjoy their bankruptcies as they brought it on themselves.

      • Vlad TheSkewerer

        Pay no attention to that container ship loaded with American presses, dies, stamping machines etc etc heading to China, just look at your 401K! See how good it is…uhh..was doing…uh..uh..well, Jim Cramer says he can get you back to even!

  • disqus_vZHfgxb6tX

    Hahaha….I worked for Kay Jewelers for 5 years, and the discrimination is absolutely ON TARGET. The last District Manager I worked for was so afraid of men managing his stores, he would promote the women he thought were most controllable over the men with much more experience. I spent 20 years managing large operations, and it wasn’t until I threatened to quit after he promoted a PART TIME EMPLOYEE to manage a new store, that he gave me a management position….in one of the most under-performing labels under the Signet umbrella….Weisfields. I had brought an under performing location to meet ALL 6 QUOTAS an assistant manager (there was no manager) to prove my worth to the company, and this crap is what I got in return. I quit because I knew I would never be rewarded for my hard work. The RVP was a skirt chaser, who would visit stores to chat up the prettiest female associate and then leave without any real communication with the store. I heard he had also been stepped down in the past for being a letch. I had one AWESOME DM when I started. Then they re-aligned the territories and I ended up with a middle eastern punk with a napolean complex. Anyone familiar with him knows exactly who I’m talking about. I would NEVER spend a penny at any Signet/Sterling Jewelry store. They treat their employees like crap, constantly cracking the whip for MORE, MORE, MORE!!! Honestly, the employees are slaves and deserve sympathy for having to work in such an oppressive, negative environment..

  • Alleged Comment

    Hmmmm…. it doesn’t seem to be a sales implosios as much as a moral one. Cheating, stealing, sexual immorality, etc.

  • barry oldwater

    Keep promoting same sex weddings, that will raise revenues. I’m sure I’m the only one that quit stopping and looking for sales on jewelry at your stores.

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