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THE ZALE CORPORATION STORY From a single Zales Jewelers store in 1924, to six retail brands with approximately 1,870 stores throughout North America and online at,,, and, Zale Corporation has stayed true to its original vision: Provide customers with quality merchandise at the lowest possible price. After decades of growth, we are now more passionate than ever about being the jeweler people turn to for the perfect expression of love. Historic Timeline 1920s Morris and William Zale have a vision: Provide customers with quality merchandise at the lowest possible price. The vision becomes reality with the opening of the first Zales Jewelers store in Wichita Falls, Texas, on March 29, 1924. Inventory includes small appliances, cameras and cookware, in addition to jewelry. 1925 The Zale brothers launch a revolutionary marketing strategy with a credit plan of "a penny down and a dollar a week," making jewelry and other merchandise affordable to the average working American. 1938 The success of the credit policy, coupled with friendly customer service, leads to a period of tremendous expansion, with roughly one new store each year for a total of 12 stores in Oklahoma and Texas by 1942. A cooperative buying system is established to centralize the purchase and distribution of merchandise for all stores, which enables the company to buy in larger quantities at lower prices. Centralized buying marks the beginning of the chain store concept for Zales. 1941-1944 Zales Jewelers responds to the limited production of consumer goods during World War II by maintaining its current prices on jewelry, limiting expenses and looking for growth opportunities. Zales acquires Corrigan's of Houston, its first "carriage trade" (fine jewelry) store in 1944, eventually leading to the launch of the Bailey Banks & Biddle brand. 1946 Zales Jewelers moves its headquarters from Wichita Falls to Dallas. 1950s The company installs one of the country's first computer systems and is among the first major jewelers to institute management training. 1957 Zales Jewelers broadens its reach, opening the first store in a shopping center ─ a major shift from operating only in downtown locations. The same year, Zales announces the initial public offering of its stock (ZLC) and begins trading its public shares on the American Stock Exchange the following year. 1960s Following the discovery of synthetic diamond technology, the company diversifies, branching out into shoes, sporting goods, drug stores, furniture and catalog stores. Reflecting this diversity, the company name becomes Zale Corporation. 1970s M.B. Zale retires as company chairman in 1970. The company's sales triple during the decade to $1.04 billion in 1980. 1984-1985 Zale Corporation unveils acquisition of the 890-carat "Incomparable Diamond," the largest internally flawless diamond in the world. In 1985, Zale moves its world headquarters to Irving, Texas.
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  • Fall '11
  • MarcLyncheski
  • Management occupations, Chief Executive Officer, Diamond, Zale Corporation, Irving, Texas, Peoples Jewellers

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