(IDEX Online) - Signet, the world's largest retailer of diamond jewelry, is closing all its North American stores, but those in the UK will remain open.
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads globally, it says it is being guided by its "core value of People First". Staff will be paid until 4 April.
All Signet's stores in the USA and Canada, most of them trading as Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared, James Allen, Peoples and Piercing Pagoda, will be closed from today.
However Signet's UK and Ireland jewelers H. Samuel and Ernest Jones will remain open, even though rivals Beaverbrooks and the Watches of Switzerland Group, which owns Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths, have closed.
A Signet spokesman reiterated part of the company's press statement, issued today, which says: "Nothing is more important that the safety of our employees and customers. In these situations, it is Signet's practice to follow the advice of governments, the World Health Organization, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
Signet has about 3,200 stores altogether, among them 450 H. Samuel and Ernest Jones outlets across the UK and Ireland.
The company's CEO, Virginia C. Drosos, said: "Out of the highest respect for governmental orders and the advice of leading health officials, we have temporarily closed our physical locations in North America.
"Store team members will receive pay and benefits through April 4, 2020 in a combination of base pay and available paid time off provisions, at which time we will further assess the situation."...