Zale to Sell Bailey Banks & Biddle
Dallas, Zale Corp. confirmed late Wednesday that it is selling its high-end jewelry chain Bailey Banks & Biddle to Finlay Enterprises for $200 million.
According to the company, the sale signifies a major step in the new management’s strategy to focus on its core middle-market brands.
“Today’s announcement is consistent with our strategy to focus on the core business and increasing returns on capital,” said Zale CEO Betsy Burton in a prepared statement. “It provides an opportunity to return a substantial amount of the proceeds to shareholders.”
Zale’s board hired Goldman Sachs earlier this year to evaluate strategic alternatives. The firm advised Zale on the transaction, which is expected to close by late October.
Last year, Zale closed about 30 underperforming Bailey Banks & Biddle stores, leaving 70 locations.
Timberland to close specialty shops
NEW YORK, (Reuters) Bootmaker Timberland said it would close most of its specialty retail shops after the company said they expect their third-quarter earnings to be extremely low.
Most of the store closings will occur early next year, Timberland said, adding that it hopes to raise annual operating profits by $6 million, while lowering annual sales by about $40 million. The company said the closings are part of a transition to smaller, footwear-focused stores in the United States.
“We have decided to begin the closure of most of our specialty retail stores in the United States, as well as stores in Asia and Europe,” ceo Jeffrey Swartz said in a statement.
Sales of Timberland’s trademark work boots, a long-time fashion staple of urban consumers, have been declining recently with footwear trends moving toward sneakers.
The Stratham, N.H.-based company also said it expects third-quarter operating margins to dip 6 percentage points, a drop Timberland partly blamed on a voluntary recall of its Direct Attach Steel Toe Series footwear.
Timberland’s shares have fallen nearly 40% from their 52-week high of $33.45 on November 14. The stock closed Tuesday at $20.22 a share.
Sears Canada to sell head office
TORONTO Sears Canada is making a move by selling its head office and surrounding property in Toronto, according to reports.
The 1,400-plus employees will be relocated to the top four floors of the Sears flagship store at the Toronto Eaton Centre.
Company spokesperson Vincent Power said that the store had been underperforming as consumers have stayed away from the upper floors. He believes that the store will be more productive on four floors rather than eight. The move comes shortly after the retailer sold off its corporate jet earlier this year.
A price for the head office sale has not been disclosed, although analysts estimate that it could be worth in the range of $93.8 million USD.