Zale to Cut 200 Jobs, Close Stores

Dallas Zale Corp. said Wednesday it will close more stores and cut 20% of its headquarters staff to save more than $65 million a year.

The company said it would close another 23 stores, bringing the number it expects to shutter by the end of July to 105. That would leave about 2,145 stores and kiosks under several brands including Zales Jewelers and Piercing Pagoda.

Zale added it would lay off 140 people and eliminate 140 unfilled positions at its headquarters in suburban Dallas. Most of the $4 million in severance-related and other costs will be recorded in the company's fiscal third quarter, which ends April 30.


Zale also will cut capital spending from an expected $85 million in 2008 to $45 million in fiscal 2009, and reduce inventory by $100 million.

Last week, the company reported that profit fell 31% in its most recent quarter and that same-store sales declined a sharp 7.3%.

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