September 7, 2005, 12:00 AM

Zale grows its annual web sales by 30%

The Internet is the fastest growing sales channel at Zale Corp., which operates online stores for its Zales and Bailey Banks & Biddle Fine Jewelers brands. For the 2005 fiscal year, Zale reported e-commerce sales of $18 million, up 30% from 2004.

The Internet is the fastest growing sales channel at Zale Corp., which operates online stores for its Zales and Bailey Banks & Biddle Fine Jewelers brands.

For the 2005 fiscal year, Zale reported e-commerce sales of $18 million, up 30% from web sales of 2004. In comparison, total company sales increased just 3.4% to $2.4 billion for fiscal 2005, compared to $2.3 billion for the prior fiscal year. Net earnings for fiscal year 2005 were $106.8 million compared with net earnings of $106.5 million for fiscal 2004.

Zale, No. 225 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, is undertaking a number of new initiatives in 2006 to grow its e-commerce operation, says David Sternblitz, Zale vice president and treasurer.

The company will continue to expand its new relationship with GSI Commerce Inc., a third-party e-commerce service provider. Zale signed a multiple year deal with GSI in May. In the next several months Zale will also launch a new web store for Gordon’s Jewelers, a chain that sells diamonds and other fine jewelry to customers on a budget.

“We had significant e-commerce growth last year and we expect momentum to continue this year,” says Sternblitz.

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