DALLAS, August 6 /CNW/ - Zale Corporation (NYSE: ZLC), a leading specialty
retailer of fine jewelry in North America, today announced the streamlining of
its corporate organization that begins with the centralization of support
functions for the moderate brands.
CEO Betsy Burton commented, "Over the past 12 months we have closely
examined all aspects of our operations, looking for opportunities for
operational improvement as well as the streamlining of corporate support. We
believe there are significant synergies and efficiencies to be gained by the
elimination of redundancies and more teaming across brands. We are starting
with the consolidation of support functions across the moderate brands as an
important step in achieving this goal."
Among the organizational changes is the promotion of Steve Lang to Group
Senior Vice President and Chief Merchandising Officer, as head of a new
centralized merchandising organization. Buying for all of the moderate brands
(Zales, Gordon's, Zales Outlet and Peoples/Mappins) will be consolidated under
Lang. He will report directly to CEO Betsy Burton. Last year the Company moved
to a centralized sourcing organization which will continue to be led by Gil
Hollander, Group Senior Vice President and Chief Sourcing Officer, also
reporting to Burton.
The Company further stated that Zale has engaged an executive search firm
to initiate a search for the newly created position of Chief Operating
Officer. Beginning with the moderate brands, there will no longer be separate
brand presidents. Store operations will report to Burton until the Chief
Operating Officer position is filled.
The Company went on to say that John Zimmermann, President of Zale North
America, has left the Company. Burton remarked, "We want to thank John for his
many contributions, hard work and dedication to the Company. We wish him
continued success in his career."
These changes are effective immediately.
Zale Corporation is a leading specialty retailer of fine jewelry in North
America operating approximately 2,300 retail locations throughout the United
States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as online. Zale Corporation's brands
include Zales Jewelers, Zales Outlet, Gordon's Jewelers, Bailey Banks & Biddle
Fine Jewelers, Peoples Jewellers, Mappins Jewellers and Piercing Pagoda. Zale
also operates online at www.zales.com, www.gordonsjewelers.com and
www.baileybanksandbiddle.com. Additional information on Zale Corporation and
its brands is available at www.zalecorp.com.
This release contains forward-looking statements, including statements
regarding the Company's turnaround initiatives and their effects.
Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and a
variety of factors could cause the Company's actual results to differ
materially from the results expressed in the forward-looking statements. These
factors include, but are not limited to: if the general economy performs
poorly, discretionary spending on goods that are, or are perceived to be,
"luxuries" may not grow and may even decrease; the concentration of a
substantial portion of the Company's sales in three, relatively brief selling
seasons means that the Company's performance is more susceptible to
disruptions; most of the Company's sales are of products that include
diamonds, precious metals and other commodities, and fluctuations in the
availability and pricing of commodities could impact the Company's ability to
obtain and produce products at favorable prices; the Company's sales are
dependent upon mall traffic; the Company operates in a highly competitive
industry; changes in regulatory requirements or in the Company's private label
credit card arrangement with Citi may increase the cost of or adversely affect
the Company's operations and its ability to provide consumer credit and write
credit insurance; acquisitions involve special risks, including the
possibility that the Company may not be able to integrate acquisitions into
its existing operations. For other factors, see the Company's filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K
for the fiscal year ended July 31, 2006. The Company disclaims any obligation
to update or revise publicly or otherwise any forward-looking statements to
reflect subsequent events, new information or future circumstances.
For further information:
For further information: Zale Corporation David H. Sternblitz,
972-580-5047 Vice President and Treasurer