Zale's Comp Store Sales Up

May 6, 2004

Zale's Comp Store Sales Up

Comparable store sales for the third quarter ended April 30, 2004, increased 7.2% for Zale Corp., Dallas, TX. Total revenues for the period were $483 million compared to last years third quarter revenues of $449 million, an increase of 7.6%. On a year-to-date basis, comparable store sales increased 4.4%.

"Our positive momentum continued across all brands during the third quarter. We delivered a strong Valentine's Day period and maintained that performance during the remainder of the quarter driven by impactful marketing and great product," says Mary L. Forté, president and CEO.

"Several of our major initiatives are beginning to have a positive impact on our business. Direct product sourcing is providing our customers quality merchandise while improving both sales and margins," says Forté. "Our marketing strategy is more targeted and productive as we further build our database marketing capabilities. Additionally, our emphasis on training and development, technology in our stores and our off-mall real estate strategy is enhancing the customer experience in our stores."

Zale says due to its strong comparable store sales increase, it expects diluted earnings per share for the third quarter ended April 30, 2004, to range between $0.41 and $0.43. Zale, North America's largest specialty retailer of fine jewelry, operates approximately 2,220 retail locations throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as online. Its brands include Zales Jewelers, Zales Outlet, Zale Direct at, Gordon's Jewelers, Bailey Banks & Biddle Fine Jewelers, Peoples Jewellers, Mappins Jewellers and Piercing Pagoda.

Sign me up for