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Signet completes acquisition of Zale Corp., creating jewelry Goliath in malls

BY Marianne Wilson

Hamilton, Bermuda — It’s official: Signet Jewelers Ltd. has completed its acquisition of Zale Corporation for $21 per share in cash and a total consideration of $1.46 billion. Zale shareholders approved the acquisition by its longtime rival on May 29.

With the deal completed, Signet now operates over 3,600 locations under the retail banners of Kay, Jared, and Zales in the United States; H.Samuel and Ernest Jones in the United Kingdom; and People’s in Canada. Signet also now operates kiosks in the United States under the Piercing Pagoda banner.

Signet said it has initiated an executive search for two important Signet leadership positions that will both report to Barnes. The first role is the chief marketing and strategy officer who will work in partnership with executive leadership across the company to build and execute Signet-wide marketing & advertising and digital ecosystem strategies and business development initiatives. The second role is the CIO who will have responsibility for the company’s combined information systems across all Signet divisions, assuring information technology solutions and investments are meeting the needs of the businesses and are aligned with company-wide priorities.

In conjunction with the closing of the deal, Signet said it has started an executive search for a chief marketing and strategy officer, and also for a CIO, who will have responsibility for the combined information systems across all Signet divisions.

The company also announced that effective immediately:

  • Mark Light has been promoted to the newly created position of president and COO of Signet Jewelers Limited.
  • Theo Killion will continue in his role as CEO and will become the president & CEO of Zale, which includes Zales, Gordon’s, and Piercing Pagoda in the United States, as well as Peoples and Mappins in Canada.
  • George Murray has become Signet’s chief integration management officer.
  • Steve Becker, senior VP of human resources for Sterling, has been promoted to chief human resource Officer for Signet Jewelers Limited.

“Having now closed the acquisition of the Zale Corporation, we have entered a new era of growth and transformation for our company and our people," said Mike Barnes, Signet CEO. "I am truly excited to have the Zale team joining the Signet family and I, and our leadership team, look forward to building upon the strengths of the entire organization."

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Speedo takes Aquatic Zones to four Sports Authority locations

BY CSA STAFF

Speedo USA has expanded its relationship with Sports Authority and is launching a Speedo Aquatic Zone “shop-within-a-shop” retail concept at four Sports Authority locations.

The four new 500-sq.-ft. premium Speedo Aquatic Zones at Sports Authority, located in the Miami and Boca Raton, Fla., and Balboa and Sherman Oaks, Calif., stores, feature the brand’s swimsuits, goggles, accessories, training aids and footwear. The zones are merchandised with a range of Speedo men’s, women’s and kids’ gear designed to highlight the 2014 fitness, performance and active recreation collections.

“We’ve enjoyed a long and positive partnership with Sports Authority, and we couldn’t be prouder of our new Speedo Aquatic Zones,” said Jim Gerson, president of Speedo USA. “Not only does it show Sports Authority’s belief in Speedo and Speedo products, but the new Speedo Acquatic Zones give us an opportunity to showcase our technical expertise, category-leading innovation, swim fitness know-how, and, of course, our newest gear.”

“We are excited to expand our partnership with Speedo to include this new shop-within-a-shop retail concept, which will offer our customers the best of the best in cutting-edge swim products,” said Stephen Binkley, chief merchandising officer of Sports Authority. “The Speedo Aquatic Zones provide an elevated shopping experience for competitive and recreational athletes in the swim community and further strengthen our position as the go-to retailer for all things sporting goods.”

The new retail layout divides Speedo products by activity, including aquatic training, fitness, recreation and other water-related interests, with a mix of in-line, end-cap, four-way and wall unit displays. Dive accessories, the Learn to Swim kids water safety line and new styles from the revamped 2014 footwear and packs collections will also be featured. The graphics and merchandising are designed to highlight Speedo’s key technologies and its 86-year history.

“More and more people are swimming for fitness than ever before,” said Gerson. “Whether you’re racing for a record finish, swimming laps for better health or making memories at the beach, we believe the new Speedo Aquatic Zones at Sports Authority will help make every water moment better — and inspire even more people to ‘Dive In.’”

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Profitect adds Ahold USA to client portfolio

BY CSA STAFF

Profitect, a leading pattern seeking analytics provider for the retail industry, has added Ahold USA as its latest customer. Profitect is rolled out in Ahold’s Giant Landover division.

Ahold USA will leverage Profitect’s integrated data to improve its shrink performance by replacing legacy reporting approaches, which require large volumes of information to be interpreted, with automated resolution processes. The Profitect closed loop system creates accountability, the company said, by ensuring employees identify and resolve opportunities impacting the business.

"We’re excited that Ahold USA has joined our growing customer base. As a world class grocer, with an emphasis on quality, selection and savings, Ahold USA and its retail divisions are committed to providing customers with great food at a great price," said Guy Yehiav, CEO, Profitect. "Leveraging our innovative pattern-seeking, cloud-based analytics solution will enable Ahold USA to not only fulfill this commitment to their customers, but quickly increase revenue and margins with minimal IT involvement, and easily understand where profit opportunities exist within their stores."

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