NRF: Luxury Sector Will Thrive

The National Retail Federation says the luxury sector will “thrive” this year because high-income families are less affected by current economic problems like slow income growth and higher energy prices. The weak dollar is also spurring luxury purchases by tourists. But discounters will continue to be challenged as their core consumers are most affected by higher energy costs and slow income growth.

Zale Corp. Appoints New Presidents

Paul G. Leonard has been named president of Zales Jewelers. He will report to Mary L. Forte, president and CEO of parent company Zale Corp. Leonard joins Zales Jewelers from the company’s Piercing Pagoda brand, where he has been president since January 2002.

To replace Leonard, Gil Hollander has been promoted to president of Piercing Pagoda. He was previously vice president of merchandising for the chain.

Leighton Pleads Guilty to Tax Charges

New York retailer Fred Leighton Ltd. pled guilty for failing to collect sales taxes on jewelry purchases by creating false shipping documents to make it appear as if the purchases were being shipped to customers out of state, The New York Times reports. The retailer must pay about $1 million in fines and back taxes.

JVC Launches Compliance Check for Web

Jewelers Vigilance Committee has launched a new program, Web Site Compliance Check, which evaluates JVC members’ Web sites for legal compliance. JVC says the feature will help members produce online advertising and marketing campaigns that are in full compliance with the laws, rules, and regulations that apply to brick-and-mortar stores. It is free of charge to all JVC members.