For three years, Signet
Already claiming to be the number one jewelry retailer in the country and the largest diamond jewelry retailer in the world, the pressing question is how far can it grow. With its dominant lead in the jewelry retail box, it requires out-of-the-box thinking to grow significantly.
Rather than just improving business – selling more jewelry for more money more often to more people and doing it more efficiently, as famed marketer Sergio Zyman defines success – Virginia “Gina” Drosos, CEO of Signet , aims to transform the company.
“As part of the next phase of our transformation, we have made service acceleration one of our growth strategies,” she told me. “Because we have strengthened our balance sheet so effectively over the past few years, we have the opportunity to consider ‘build or buy’ as a way to grow faster.”
She is looking for new ways to create customer value and business value beyond just doing what has always been done, only better. That’s what the acquisition of jewelry rental subscription service Rocksbox represents: an out-of-the-box game that gives customers new ways to enjoy jewelry without having to buy it.
“Rocksbox is a perfect fit for us and builds on sustainable trade and circular economy trends,” she continued. “Rocksbox shares our values and exists to bring the joy of jewelry to everyone. They are very data-driven, active in social media and digital marketing, and have a highly innovative and entrepreneurial spirit which is the culture we have built at Signet and helped us perform so well during Covid.
Founded by former McKinsey and Bain consultant Meaghan Rose in 2012, shortly after the 2009 launch of fashion rental service Rent The Runway, Rocksbox offers $21-a-month subscriptions for three selections of high-profile designer jewelry like Kate Spade, Kendra Scott, Gordana, Perry Street, Sophie Harper and Slate. Monthly subscription fees can be applied to the purchase of items that customers want to keep.
Acquired for an undisclosed price, the company also didn’t release Rocksbox subscriber counts, but said Rocksbox’s customer base solidifies a weakness at Signet: women who buy themselves.
“Under the leadership of CEO Meaghan Rose, Rocksbox has revolutionized the subscription jewelry rental market by delivering personalized, online, data-driven customer experiences to jewelry enthusiasts who value fashion, online convenience, and sustainability,” Drosos said in a statement.
With the acquisition of Rocksbox, Signet takes a major step in the next phase of its “Path to Brilliance” strategy, called “Inspiring Brilliance”. This new phase relies on attracting new customers to increase market leadership; expansion into “accessible” luxury and value segments; accelerate digital e-commerce; and develop its service offerings.
Rocksbox is playing into all of this, but most importantly by expanding Signet’s service offerings. Already a $500 million business, including jewelry customization, repair, financing, and body piercings, Drosos aims to grow the services to a $1 billion business “over time,” I was told. she said.
Considering that Signet is a roughly $6 billion business, although it has seen a downturn in the pandemic year, this represents a huge potential growth segment for the company.
While Rocksbox brings an unknown number of customers into the Signet sphere, it’s much more important to bring a proven subscription business model. It will engage its existing customers in new ways and attract new ones who want to rent jewelry for special occasions or want to have an ever-changing wardrobe of everyday jewelry.
It’s an opportunity Drosos alluded to in an interview ahead of this announcement. “The rental and subscription business has clearly taken off in womenswear. With our jewelry repair and maintenance experts, we can easily rent a piece of jewelry to one person this month, then polish it and rent it to someone else,” she said, adding: “Services are the glue that ties together a lifetime of customer engagement.
Note: The original article incorrectly listed the company’s services goal at $2 billion. It was corrected at 4 p.m. on April 6.