What happened

Shares of jewelry-store operator Signet Jewelers (SIG -1.27%) were up for the third-consecutive session on Wednesday, as investors continued to cheer news that Simon Property Group (SPG -0.43%) will begin reopening its malls on Friday.

Signet Jewelers' stock finished the day at $10.16, up 7.9% from Tuesday's closing price and up about 33.5% since the end of last week.

So what

Here's why Signet's stock has surged this week: Simon Property Group said on Monday that it will reopen 49 of its U.S. malls and outlet centers between May 1 and May 4, this Friday through Monday. 

Why is that significant? If you've bought jewelry in a mall, there's a good chance that you bought it from a Signet-owned store. Signet's chains, which include Zales, Kay Jewelers, and Jared, focus on the so-called mid-market, a step down from luxury brands. It's a level that works very well in America's shopping malls, and that's where the majority of its roughly 3,300 stores are located.

A selection of rings in a jewelry-store display case.

Image source: Getty Images.

Given that, and given that all of Signet's stores in North America have been closed since March, it should be obvious why retail-focused investors are greeting news that malls will soon reopen with enthusiasm. 

Now what

There's still a long way to go before the U.S. and Canada will be fully open for business. The 49 malls and outlet centers that Simon will reopen in the next week represent only about a quarter of its U.S. properties. More will reopen as state and local governments allow, of course, but it may be several more weeks before most are open -- and even then, it's not clear whether consumers are ready to return to stores.

Still, for Signet shareholders, this is a big step in a positive direction. We'll find out much more when Signet reports its fiscal first-quarter earnings, likely in early June.