OPERATIONS

Zale and Vera Wang team up for jewelry line

BY Staff Writer

Dallas — Zale Corp. and designer Vera Wang announced they are teaming up on an exclusive line of diamond bridal jewelry.

The new Vera Wang Love collection will include diamond engagement rings, matching wedding bands and solitaire bridal jewelry. Each ring will have the Vera Wang Love logo, and every engagement ring will include a blue sapphire.

The collection will be sold only at Zale stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The jewelry will be in United States and Puerto Rico stores in October.

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FINANCE

Retail sales in U.S. climb by highest percentage in four months

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. — A report released Friday by the Commerce Department said that retail sales in the U.S. rose 0.5% in July, the most in four months and demonstrating that consumers may be holding their own in a tumultuous economy.

The 0.5% increase matched the Bloomberg News median forecast followed a 0.3% gain in June that was larger than estimated. Excluding auto sales, purchases rose more than projected.

The gain in spending is “pretty relieving,” Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York, told Bloomberg. “The upward revisions suggest that the trajectory of consumer spending heading into the third quarter wasn’t as bad as previously thought.”

Nine of 13 major categories showed a gain in sales in July, led by electronics stores, furniture retailers, auto dealers and service stations. Retailers reported July sales that exceeded analysts’ estimates.

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FINANCE

Nordstrom Q2 profit soars 20%

BY Staff Writer

Seattle — Nordstrom reported Thursday that net income for its second quarter rose 20% to $175 million, compared with $146 million in the year earlier period.

Revenue surged 12.4% to $2.72 billion, benefited by strong promotions and matching Wall Street estimates. Same-store sales rose a solid 7.3%. The department store retailer has raised its profit outlook for the full year.

Its outlet concept Nordstrom Rack saw net sales increase 23.4% to $92 million, and same-store sales rose 4.8%.

"We’re mindful of the economic challenges facing all of us," said Blake Nordstrom, president, during a conference call. "However, we know from previous experiences that our customers remain receptive when we’re able to evolve with them and provide a compelling reason to buy something new."

During the quarter, Nordstrom opened three Nordstrom Rack stores, located in Cherry Hill, N.J., in Washington, D.C., and in Annapolis, Md.

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