Signet ($SIG) shares slumped after the pandemic gripped the entire US economy, but have since sprung back to life, and the operator of numerous popular American jewelry chains is heading into earnings down 13% in 2020, but with a bit of spring in its step. Unfortunately, alternative data isn't terribly reassuring - yet, at least. 

Shares on June 8 are up more than 8% and earnings will be announced by Signet on the 9th. Updated earnings estimates call for losses of -$2.29 per share. 

Unfortunately, as economies across the US begin to pry open and re-establish business, it looks as if some of Signet's top properties aren't reeling in much business - our chart above tracks Facebook Talking About Count. This is a measure of how much each of the three stores is earning engagement on social media - and, clearly, it's not much. 

For Signet's high-end competitor, Tiffany, the chart above is at least slightly good news - its social media engagement was higher than its mall-based competitors. But this is still a sign for both major chains that their demand drop-off has to see some kind of a rebound. And, because so many people are postponing weddings, it's not clear when that will come. 

Tiffany ($TIF) was in a bit of a different bind, but its investors may wind up getting off the hook, so to speak - the company agreed before the 2019 holiday season to sell itself to French luxury titan LVMH, and for a time, its buyer balked at the deal and sought a new discounted price tag thanks to the pandemic. Lately, it sounds like LVMH has backed off that stance, and that the deal will go through as planned. 

And - as we're seeing in the cruise business and in the hospitality business - just because Signet's reopening for business, doesn't mean that it's looking to do much hiring - at least, so far. 

The Coronavirus outbreak gave people the opportunity to reassess the size of, or viability, their weddings; the size of their rings; and, probably in at least a few cases, whether or not they actually wanted to spend the rest of their lives with a person who - after 100+ days of isolation - turned out to not quite be their cup of tea.

All of this is to say that both weddings and engagements may take a pause, at least for a little while - and that could pinch Signet stock when it announces numbers. 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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