Signet adds virtual facet to jewelry sales in pandemic play

Squeezed by the COVID-19 crisis, Signet Jewelers responded by virtualizing its jewelry sales service, positioning the company well for the future, says CIO Howard Melnick.

Signet adds virtual facet to jewelry sales in pandemic play

Like many retailers, Signet Jewelers faced an existential crisis last March as the pandemic forced it to temporarily shutter more than 3,000 North American stores purveying its diamonds and other gems. But Signet, whose flagship brands include Kay Jewelers, Zales, and Jared, bounced back in a big way.

By executing tech workarounds to facilitate virtual consultations, the IT department became the catalyst for digital pivots completed in weeks instead of years, according to Signet CIO Howard Melnick.

“We needed to bring the store to the customer wherever they wanted to meet us,” says Melnick, who joined the company in 2018 after serving more than nine years as CIO of Ralph Lauren. The initiative earned Signet a 2021 CIO 100 Award for innovation and leadership.

The pandemic has accelerated tech-forward strategies across several sectors during the pandemic, with 69% of 2,860 IT and business leaders planning to increase their financial commitments to digital transformation in response to the pandemic, according to a survey Deloitte published in April

Digitizing the jewelry consultation

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