of fine jewelry.
901 West Walnut Hill Lane
Irving, TX 75038
CEO: Theophilus Killion
Stock Symbol: ZLC
Zale is a leading specialty retailer of fine jewelry with 1,064 retail locations throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico under the following brand names: Zales Jewelers, Zales Outlet, Gordon's Jewelers, Peoples Jewellers, Mappins Jewelers of Canada and Piercing Pagoda.
Zale also operates online at www.zales.com
The company announced in February it would be acquired by Signet Corporation, the largest speciality jeweler in the U.S. and UK, for $21 per share or $1.4 billion.
Zale is driven by three core product categories
that cater to each consumer segment with varying intensity. The
bridal category, a differentiating factor for a fine jeweler,
enjoys consistent, stable demand and establishes lifelong customer
relationships. The fashion segment inspires gift giving and self
purchases while allowing the Company to maximize the peak holiday
periods. The watch business provides additional brand appeal,
enhancing the Company's ability to further drive traffic.
The company reported revenues of $1.88 billion for fiscal 2013, up from $1.86 billion the previous year. Net income was $10.0 million.
In the 1920s, Morris (M.B.) and William
Zale had a vision: to provide customers with quality merchandise
at the lowest possible price. This vision became a reality when
the first Zales Jewelers store opened in Wichita Falls, Texas,
on March 29, 1924.
With a credit plan of "a penny down
and a dollar a week," the Zale brothers launched a marketing
strategy considered to be revolutionary at the time, and thus
made jewelry and other merchandise affordable to the average
working American. Friendly customer service, liberal credit policies,
and dedicated employees led to great success and expansion, with
12 stores in Oklahoma and Texas by 1941.
During World War II, Zales Jewelers responded
to the limited production of consumer goods by maintaining its
current prices on jewelry, limiting expenses, and looking for
growth opportunities. These efforts were rewarded in 1944 with
the acquisition of Corrigan's of Houston, Zales' first "carriage
trade" (fine jewelry) store, whose purchase eventually launched
the Bailey Banks & Biddle brand.
In 1946, Zales Jewelers moved its headquarters
from Wichita Falls to Dallas. The corporate offices were housed
in the Mercantile Bank Building, the first of several locations.
The company continued to prosper and in 1952, a profit sharing
plan was introduced to employees.
Zales Jewelers took major steps in 1957
to broaden its reach in the marketplace. The first shopping center
location was opened, marking a major shift from its strategy
of operating only downtown stores. The same year, Zales announced
the initial public offering of its stock (ZLC) and then began
trading its public shares on the American Stock Exchange the
The 1960s were a decade of diversity. The
119-store chain began branching out into other markets - shoes,
sporting goods, drug stores, furniture and catalogue stores.
In fact, the shareholders decided to change the company name
to Zale Corporation to reflect the diversity of the business.
The decade of the '70s brought continued
expansion. Zale Corporation grew to more than 1,700 stores and
posted a single-day sales record of $10 million.
In 1984, Zale Corporation unveiled its
newest acquisition - the 890-carat "Incomparable Diamond,"
the largest internally flawless diamond in the world. The next
year, Zale moved its world headquarters into a 430,000-square-foot
complex in Irving, Texas, its current location.
The company's history was significantly
altered with the 1986 leveraged buyout of Zale Corporation by
Peoples Jewellers of Canada and Swarovski International of Austria.
Expansion continued, however, with the purchase in 1989 of the
Gordon's Jewelers chain of 469 stores.
The 1990s marked another critical turning
point for the corporation when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
protection in 1992. The following year, the company emerged from
bankruptcy after restructuring its debt. Five years later, 1998
became the "breakaway year" for Zale with annual sales
that topped $1.3 billion - up from $920 million in 1994 - and
a 25 percent net earnings growth (excluding unusual items). During
its tremendous turnaround year, the company showed profit in
all four quarters for the first time since the reorganization.
That same year, Zales Outlet was launched, giving the corporation
13 locations in premier outlet centers in the United States.
Expansion again became the primary growth
strategy with two major acquisitions: Peoples Jewellers of Canada
in 1999 and Piercing Pagoda, Inc. in 2000.
In 2007, Zale divested the Bailey Banks
& Biddle brand to focus on the core business and increase
returns on capital.
* Medical and dental insurance
* Group life insurance
* Short-term and long-term disability coverage
* Flexible spending accounts
* Paid sick leave
* Paid time off
* Tuition aid
* Merchandise discounts
* Adoption assistance
* Employee development
* Credit union
Updated March 22, 2014