Signet Jewelers Ltd., the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry that is headquartered in Akron, said Friday that it has eliminated 80 jobs across its Akron, Dallas area and United Kingdom operations that support its stores.
“This was a difficult business decision but one we believe we needed to make,” David Bouffard, Signet vice president of corporate affairs, said in a news release.
In an interview, Bouffard declined to give a specific number of positions cut in Akron. He said in a subsequent email that the number of affected employees represents fewer than 2 percent of the workforce at its Akron headquarters campus, which includes buildings on Ghent Road and West Market Street.
The company employed roughly 3,000 in Summit County last year. This figure includes employees at Signet’s stores, such as Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry.
Bouffard noted in Friday’s statement that the company is “performing well and just reported excellent holiday sales results.”
The cuts are among other personnel moves, including promotions and people being assigned to new positions. The changes were discussed in an internal announcement that employees received earlier this week.
Bouffard said the company is providing affected employees with a “comprehensive transition package.” He did not offer details.
He said the company is “focused on maximizing sustainable shareholder value through investments in growing our business.” He said this “requires a constant evolution” as the company grows the mid-market jewelry sector.
Signet’s sales during the all-important holiday retail season at Signet Jewelers Ltd. stores open at least a year were up 4.9 percent from the eight-week period the prior year. The increase in 2015 compares with an increase of 3.6 percent for the 2014 holiday season ended Dec. 27, 2014.
Signet completed its purchase of Zale Corp. of Irving, Texas, in May 2014. With the purchase, Signet became the largest operator of jewelry stores in the United States, the U.K. and Canada with about 3,500 stores.
Friday, the Dallas Morning News reported that Signet plans to move Zale operations from the former Zale Corp. headquarters in Irving to a location “in the Dallas area.” The Texas office employs 1,163 people, according to the newspaper.
Shares of Signet stock closed Friday at $116, up $2.61.
Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org.