Finlay to lose its license with Belk

Finlay Enterprises, Inc., said Wednesday that its license with Belk, Inc. will not be renewed when it expires on Jan. 31, 2007.

Belk has entered into an agreement to purchase the assets of Migerobe, Inc., a privately held company that licenses fine jewelry departments in 36 Belk locations. As a result of the pending transaction, Belk has informed Finlay it will not renew its license agreements when they expire at the end of this fiscal year. Finlay currently operates in 75 Belk doors.

In fiscal 2005, these 75 locations generated approximately $43 million of revenue. Finlay is currently evaluating the impact these closings will have on its financial results for fiscal 2006 and beyond.

“Although we are disappointed with Belk’s decision, our core business remains solid and we are confident that our flexible cost structure will allow us to manage the transition in the most efficient manner possible. We remain focused on our ongoing efforts to add new sources of growth to our business,” said Arthur E. Reiner, chairman and chief executive officer of Finlay Enterprises.

Finlay Enterprises, Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Finlay Fine Jewelry Corp., is a leading retailers of fine jewelry and the largest operator of licensed fine jewelry departments in department stores in the United States with sales of $990.1 million in fiscal 2005. The number of locations at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2006 totaled 957, including 32 Carlyle specialty jewelry stores.