Akron-based Signet Jewelers on Wednesday reported disappointing 2017 holiday sales.

The company, which owns Kay, Jared, Zales, Piercing Pagoda and other retail brands, said total sales fell 3.1 percent for the nine-week holiday sales period ending Dec. 30, while sales at stores open at least a year fell 5.3 percent.

The company reaffirmed its earnings guidance for its 2018 fiscal year, saying it expects to benefit from recent U.S. tax reform.

Signet reported its results before the stock market opened.

Shares fell $3.90, or 6.9 percent to $52.69 on Wednesday. Shares are down 6.9 percent since Jan. 1 and are down 39.8 percent from a year ago.

“Our overall ecommerce business grew double-digits, and our Zale division, where our strategic initiatives are beginning to take hold unencumbered by the credit transition, delivered same-store sales growth with strength in both bridal and fashion,” the company said in a statement. “Conversely, progress in our Sterling division was overshadowed by the negative impact of the credit outsourcing transition in stores.”

Signet reported sales of $1.88 billion, down $59.2 million, or 3.1 percent, from $1.94 billion for the same period a year ago.

E-commerce sales totaled $210.5 million, up $68 million, or 47.7 percent, from a year ago, the company reported.

The problems Signet is having related to the selling of its credit portfolio accounted for about two-thirds of the company’s sales decline, Virginia Drosos, chief executive officer, said in a call with industry analysts.

The unexpected difficult transition process has impacted new credit applicants as well as existing credit customers, the company said.

The company did have positive results to report, Drosos said, including the introduction of new products.

The company also refocused its marketing and advertising during the holiday season and saw positive results with a new emphasis on digital, she said.

“During the holidays, we increased our digital marketing spend by 35 percent compared to last year to 29 percent of total spend, while reducing our overall advertising investments by about 10 percent,” Drosos said. “Our investments in search engine marketing and optimization and social media drove significant traffic to Kay.com and Jared.com.”

Drosos told analysts that Signet continues to look at store mall traffic.

“We’re seeing a continued move toward e-commerce growth: In our case our e-commerce growth was up about 50 percent overall versus a year ago,” she said.

“And so, we continue to look at where our most profitable stores across our total line and make sure that we’re operating in the right places in the right malls.”

The impact of new U.S. tax reform is expected to be a significant benefit for Signet, Drosos said.

Excluding the benefit of tax reform, the company said it expects its fiscal 2018 earnings to range between $6.17 to $6.22, within its previous guidance range of $6.10 to $6.50. When including tax reform benefits, Signet said it expects to earn $6.45 to $6.50 a share.