FINANCE

Zale narrows Q1 loss; sales up

BY Staff Writer

Irving, Texas — Zale Corp. narrowed its first-quarter loss slightly and reported its 12th consecutive quarterly sales increase.

Zale reported a net loss of $27. 3 million in the quarter ended Oct. 31, compared to $28.3 million, a year ago. The prior year included a gain of $1.9 million from a settlement.

First-quarter sales increased 1.4% to $363 million, in line with expectations.

Same-store sales rose 4.4%. Zales Jewelers and Zales Outlet stores posted a same-store sales increase of 7.5%.

"We have now delivered positive comparable store sales for twelve consecutive quarters. Importantly, our core national brands drove our sales performance in the first quarter with a 7.5% comp in Zales and an 8.4% comp in Peoples," said Theo Killion, CEO. "For holiday, we have expanded our exclusive, branded product offerings, launched a new marketing campaign and improved the store environment to enrich the guest experience."

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FINANCE

Moody’s: Pent-up demand to fuel holiday sales growth in 4.5% to 5.5% range

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Holiday sales growth is looking up for the nation’s retailers, with much of the lift coming from pent-up demand, according to Moody’s Investors Service. The company’s holiday forecast is the 4.5% to 5.5% range, which is higher than the National Retail Federation’s forecast of 3.9% and the International Council of Shopping Centers’ forecast of 2.0%.

Moody’s Report on the Holiday Shopping Season notes that holiday shoppers will, as they have in past, look past U.S. fiscal policy debates and continued economic uncertainties. The best-performing segments will continue to be toys, electronics, party goods, luxury goods and retailers whose goods are perceived to offer value.

New product launches such as the Xbox one and Playstation 4, along with the recent iPhone 5c and 5s, should provide a boost in holiday electronics sales for retailers such as Best Buy, Toys "R" Us, and Amazon.com, according to Moody’s.

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Family Dollar seeks new supply chain exec

BY CSA STAFF

A search is underway for a senior executive to lead Family Dollar’s supply chain efforts following the departure of supply chain EVP Jeffrey Macak who resigned from the company after just two months.

In a brief statement, Family Dollar said Macak resignedfor personal reasons effective immediately. Macak joined Family Dollar in early September of this year after a 13-year run at Bed Bath & Beyond where he served as vp of global supply chain.

At the time of his hiring, Family Dollar CEO Mike Bloom said, “Jeffrey’s background and leadership skills are a perfect complement to our operations and growth initiatives. In today’s highly competitive retail environment, building an efficient end-to-end supply chain is critical to our success, and we will look to Jeffrey’s extensive expertise to advance our ongoing efforts to improve supply chain efficiencies and drive increased value for our customers."

Prior to Bed Bath & Beyond, Macak served as president of Vantix Logistics for Ameriserve and also held roles with The Hechinger Company, a home improvement retailer, and with KPMG Consulting, LLP, and Deloitte-Garr Consulting Group.

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