Zale’s holiday sales up 4.3%

Zale Corp., North America’s largest specialty retailer of fine jewelry, said its comparable store sales increased 4.1% for November and December 2003. Total revenues for the period were $843 million, a 4.3% gain over the 2002 holiday period.

“Our team did a great job in achieving our holiday objectives,” said Mary L. Forte, president and chief executive officer. “Customers responded very positively to our storewide efforts across all brands. This was supported by great product, impactful marketing and solid execution.” She added that, “We stayed aggressive in our approach to the business and maximized our opportunities in what continues to be a very competitive retail environment.”

Zale Corp. operates about 2,260 retail outlets in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as online. They include Zales Jewelers, Zales Outlet, Zale Direct at, Gordon’s Jewelers, Bailey Banks & Biddle Fine Jewelers, Peoples Jewellers, Mappins Jewellers and Piercing Pagoda.