Latest Tales from Zale

After most of its top management resigned in January following a decline in holiday sales, speculation about Zale Corp. has grown. Among the latest developments:

  • The company hired investment bank Peter J. Solomon to help it “maximize its financial flexibility.” The process of scouting new capital is expected to be completed by May.

  • Among the potential entities injecting cash into the company is hedge fund Apollo Capital Management, which would institute an “old guard” management team including former chairman Robert DiNicola and former Zale division president Pam Romano.

  • Although the company’s sales decreased 14 percent in the second quarter, it also posted a profit, its first in nearly two years.

  • Sterling, whose sales outpaced Zale’s at Christmas, is now a model for the company. Interim chief executive officer Theo Killion said executives were spending time in its “direct competitor’s stores to understand and analyze their assortments.”

  • The company cut 60 jobs at its Irving, Texas, headquarters, according to the Dallas Morning News. About 800 people still work there, the newspaper said.

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