Retailer News


Zale Corp. has finished the conversion of its high-end jewelry chains to the Bailey, Banks & Biddle banner.

The name change was completed in March when all 15 Corrigan’s and Sweeney’s fine jewelry stores in Texas were changed to Bailey, Banks & Biddle. There are 98 other Bailey, Banks and Biddle stores in 80 cities and towns across the United States, for a total of 112 nationwide.

About 15% of Zale Corp.’s business is in Bailey, Banks & Biddle. Those stores average about $2.2 million each (double the amount of Zales Jewelers and Gordon’s Jewelers each).

The move to remake Bailey, Banks & Biddle into a national chain for affluent consumers is the last phase of Zale Corp.’s revitalization, which began with Zales Jewelers in 1994 and continued with Gordon’s.

According to Zale Corp. chairman Robert DiNicola, Bailey, Banks & Biddle “gives us great penetration in the high-end portion of business, where there are far fewer players nationwide.”

The company expects to grow the chain nationally to 250 stores in the next five years. That will include a flagship location in Manhattan.—William George Shuster


Susan Eisen, president of Susan Eisen Fine Jewelry and Watches in El Paso, Texas, has received a local Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics in Retail. She is the first retail jeweler to win this award in El Paso.

Her business is a regular contributor to charities in the area and to efforts to educate consumers about jewelry and gems. She is a member of the International Executive Council of the Gemological Institute of America and the Ethics and Education committees of the American Gem Society and is secretary of the International Gems and Jewelry Committee of the American Society of Appraisers.


Harold Tivol, chairman of Tivol, with stores in Kansas City, Mo., and Overland Park, Kan., recently received the American Advertising Federation’s Silver Medal during the Ad Club’s annual Omni Awards. The honor recognizes a community leader who has made outstanding contributions to his or her business, furthered the advertising industry’s standards, and demonstrated ongoing commitment in areas of social concern.

Tivol and his family are active in the Kansas City community and established the Mollie Tivol Family Resource Center, managed by the Alzheimer’s Association Heartland Chapter. Since 1983, Tivol has appeared in dozens of advertisements for his stores.


The Jewish Community Center of Houston recently dedicated the I.W. Marks Theater Center in recognition of a major gift by local jeweler I.W. Marks. The gift enabled the community center to refurbish its Kaplan Theater and Joe Frank Theater of the Arts.

Marks is developing a program with the community center to provide performing-arts programs for at-risk youths. In the I.W. Marks Master Classes program, offered in conjunction with the Society for the Performing Arts, visiting artists participate in one-on-one discussions with audiences. Marks has also helped create the Houston Symphony’s “Discovery/Outreach Concerts” for elementary-school pupils.

Marks’s sponsorship of the arts in Houston, along with the efforts of other CEOs, is highlighted in a newly released book, The Art of Leadership: Building Business-Arts Alliances.

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