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Zale plans to close 105 stores in fiscal 2008
03
Mar '08
Zale Corporation, a leading specialty retailer of fine jewelry in North America, announced that it has begun the implementation of a program designed to enhance the Company's profitability and improve its overall effectiveness.

The program, which seeks to generate $65 plus million in ongoing, annualized savings beginning in the Company's fourth quarter of fiscal 2008, is the product of management's comprehensive review of operating and capital expenses in consultation with the Board of Directors. Key elements of the program include:

• Estimated $65 plus million in ongoing, annualized savings a majority of which is overhead spending. Approximately $5 million of savings are expected to be realized in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008;

• Organizational streamlining, primarily involving a reduction of the Company's headquarters staff by 225 filled and open positions or approximately 20%;

• Anticipated total program cost, including severance-related benefits, of less than $4 million pre-tax, will be incurred largely in the Company's fiscal third quarter ending April 30, 2008;

• A reduction of planned capital spending from an expected $85 million in fiscal 2008 to approximately $45 million in fiscal 2009;

• Continued optimization of Company's store portfolio, including the closure of an additional 23 underperforming locations, bringing the total number of planned store closures to approximately 105 in fiscal 2008; and,


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