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Zale Corp. Reports Operating Results (10-K)

October 29, 2009 | About:
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10qk

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Zale Corp. (ZLC) filed Annual Report for the period ended 2009-07-31.

Zale Corporation is a specialty retailer of fine jewelry. The company operates under four brand names: Zales Jewelers Gordon's Jewelers Bailey Banks & Biddle Fine Jewelers and Peoples Jewellers. Zales Jewelers provides traditional moderately priced jewelry. Gordon's Jewelers offers contemporary merchandise targeted to regional preferences. Bailey Banks & Biddle Fine Jewelers operates upscale jewelry stores which are considered among the finest jewelry stores in their markets. Peoples Jewellers offers traditional moderately priced jewelry to customers across Canada. Zale Corp. has a market cap of $191.2 million; its shares were traded at around $5.98 with and P/S ratio of 0.1. Zale Corp. had an annual average earning growth of 1.4% over the past 10 years.

Highlight of Business Operations:

During the fiscal year ended July 31, 2009, we generated $1.8 billion of revenues. We believe we are well-positioned to compete in the approximately $63 billion U.S. and Canadian retail jewelry industry, leveraging our established brand names, economies of scale and geographic and demographic diversity. We have significant brand name recognition as a result of each of our brands' long-standing presence in the industry and our national and regional advertising campaigns. We believe that brand name recognition is an important advantage in jewelry retailing as jewelry products are generally unbranded and consumers must trust in a retailer's reliability, credibility and commitment to customer service.

We report our operations under three business segments: Fine Jewelry, Kiosk Jewelry and All Other. An overview of each business segment follows below. During fiscal year 2009, our Fine Jewelry segment generated $1.5 billion, or approximately 86 percent of our revenues. During fiscal year 2009, the Kiosk Jewelry segment revenues represented approximately $233 million, or approximately 13 percent of our revenues.

Zales Jewelers' and Gordon's Jewelers' combined revenues accounted for approximately 63 percent of our total revenues, with an average transaction value of $403 in fiscal year 2009. Additionally, both brands operate as multi-channel retailers and serve internet customers through e-commerce sites zales.com and gordonsjewelers.com, which accounted for approximately three percent of our total revenues in fiscal year 2009. Internet sales totaled $56.2 million in fiscal year 2009 compared to $55.7 million in fiscal year 2008.

We purchase the majority of our merchandise in finished form from a network of established suppliers and manufacturers located primarily in the United States, India, Southeast Asia and Italy. We procure approximately 56 percent of our merchandise from wholesalers, 28 percent directly from manufacturers and 16 percent from our internal assembly organization. All purchasing is done through buying offices at our Store Support Center. Consignment inventory has historically consisted of test programs, merchandise at higher price points or merchandise that otherwise does not warrant the risk of ownership. Consignment merchandise can be returned to the vendor at any time or converted to owned inventory if it meets certain sales thresholds. We had $71.5 million and $114.3 million of consignment inventory on hand at July 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively. During fiscal years 2009 and 2008, we purchased approximately 12 percent and 14 percent, respectively, of our finished merchandise from our top five vendors with no single vendor exceeding three percent in 2009. If our supply with these top vendors were disrupted, particularly at certain critical times during the year, our sales could be adversely affected in the short term until alternative supply arrangements could be established.

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