Zale reports a 1 percent increase in holiday same-store sales

Zale Corp., North America’s largest specialty retailer of fine jewelry, reported that comparable store sales increased 0.9% for the months of November and December , encompassing the entire holiday selling period.

Comparable store sales excluded the results of the 29 Bailey Banks & Biddle slated for closure by Zale. Those stores were managed by an independent liquidator during the period.

Total revenues for the two-month period, also excluding the store closures, were $861 million compared to $844 million last year, an increase of 2 percent. Total revenues for the two-month period, including the store closures, were $873 million compared to last year’s revenues of $861 million for the period, an increase of 1.4 percent.

Gordon’s Jewelers, Bailey Banks & Biddle Fine Jewelers, Zales Outlet, and Zale Canada (Peoples Jewellers and Mappins Jewellers) each achieved a 6 percent or greater comparable store sales increase for the two-month period while Zales Jewelers and Piercing Pagoda combined for a comparable store sales decline of approximately 4 percent.

“Although we are disappointed that we did not achieve our overall holiday sales objective, we are very pleased with the strong performances we had at four of the Company’s six brands,” commented Mary L. Forte, president and chief executive officer. “The underperformance at our Zales brand and at Piercing Pagoda had a significant impact on our consolidated results.”

Forte added, “The repositioning at Zales is in its early stages and did not produce the results we expected this Holiday. However, the strong performance achieved by our other brands that are further along in a number of our corporate initiatives clearly indicates that the strategy is working and we are on the right track.”