Zale’s same-store holiday sales are down

Zale Corp., Dallas, reports that comparable store sales decreased 0.7% for the combined months of November and December 2004, encompassing the entire holiday selling period. Total revenues for the two-month period were $861 million compared to last year’s revenues of $843 million for the period, an increase of 2.1%.

“While we are disappointed with our overall holiday sales results, they are not reflective of the performance at most of our brands,” commented Mary L. Forte, president and CEO. “Our largest brand, Zales Jewelers, under performed and thus had a significant impact on our consolidated results. Our remaining brands all had positive comparable store sale increases and performed at or close to our original guidance expectations for the quarter.”

The company indicated that it now expects comparable store sales to be flat to down 1% for its second quarter, ending Jan. 31.