Promotional Strategy Put Zale ‘Off Track’

A strategy to boost last year's holiday sales with aggressive promotions of fashion and lower-priced jewelry put Zale Corp. "dramatically off track" in its important second quarter, says Robert J. DiNicola, chairman and chief executive officer. Following its best year ever in fiscal 2000, the first half of fiscal 2001 saw sharp drops in comparable-store sales and net income as well as the Feb. 12 resignation of chairman and CEO Beryl Raff, DiNicola's hand-picked successor, who had held the position for only six months. Zale, the world's largest jewelry retailer, will spend the rest of fiscal 2001 (ending July 31) "bringing our business back in balance," says DiNicola, who returned Feb. 21 and initiated a strategic review of the company's operations. DiNicola made his comments during a March 7 conference call between Zale's executive management team and financial analysts. The team

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