Zale Corporation 1969

Zale Corporation 1969

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Zale Corporation 1969

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Beautifully engraved certificate from the Zale Corporation issued in 1969. This historic document was printed by the Federated Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of an allegorical man with the company logo. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s President and Secretary and is over 33 years old.
Certificate Vignette In the 1920s, Morris (M.B.) and William Zale had a vision: to provide customers with quality merchandise at the lowest possible price. This vision became a reality when the first Zales Jewelers store opened in Wichita Falls, Texas, on March 29, 1924. With a credit plan of "a penny down and a dollar a week," the Zale brothers launched a marketing strategy considered to be revolutionary at the time, and thus made jewelry and other merchandise affordable to the average working American. Friendly customer service, liberal credit policies, and dedicated employees led to great success and expansion, with 12 stores in Oklahoma and Texas by 1941. During World War II, Zale Jewelers responded to the limited production of consumer goods by maintaining its current prices on jewelry, limiting expenses, and looking for growth opportunities. These efforts were rewarded in 1944 with the acquisition of Corrigan's of Houston, Zales' first "carriage trade" (fine jewelry) store, whose purchase eventually launched the Bailey Banks & Biddle brand. In 1946, Zales Jewelers moved its headquarters from Wichita Falls to Dallas. The corporate offices were housed in the Mercantile Bank Building, the first of several locations. The company continued to prosper and in 1952, a profit sharing plan was introduced to employees. Zales Jewelers took major steps in 1957 to broaden its reach in the marketplace. The first shopping center location was opened, marking a major shift from its strategy of operating only downtown stores. The same year, Zales announced the initial public offering of its stock (ZLC) and then began trading its public shares on the American Stock Exchange the following year. The 1960s were a decade of diversity. The 119-store chain began branching out into other markets - shoes, sporting goods, drug stores, furniture and catalogue stores. In fact, the shareholders decided to change the company name to Zale Corporation to reflect the diversity of the business. The decade of the '70s brought continued expansion. Zale Corporation grew to more than 1,700 stores and posted a single-day sales record of $10 million. In 1984, Zale Corporation unveiled its newest acquisition - the 890-carat "Incomparable Diamond," the largest internally flawless diamond in the world. The next year, Zale moved its world headquarters into a 430,000-square-foot complex in Irving, Texas, its current location. The company's history was significantly altered with the 1986 leveraged buyout of Zale Corporation by Peoples Jewellers of Canada and Swarovski International of Austria. Expansion continued, however, with the purchase in 1989 of the Gordon's Jewelers chain of 469 stores. The 1990s marked another critical turning point for the corporation when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1992. The following year, the company emerged from bankruptcy after restructuring its debt. Five years later, 1998 became the "breakaway year" for Zale with annual sales that topped $1.3 billion - up from $920 million in 1994 - and a 25 percent net earnings growth (excluding unusual items). During its tremendous turnaround year, the company showed profit in all four quarters for the first time since the reorganization. That same year, Zales Outlet was launched, giving the corporation 13 locations in premier outlet centers in the United States. Expansion again became the primary growth strategy with two major acquisitions: Peoples Jewellers of Canada in 1999 and Piercing Pagoda, Inc. in 2000. Today, Zale Corporation is a $1.8 billion success story that evolved during a phenomenal growth period from 1994 through 2000, including an overall 93 percent increase in sales and 78 percent growth in average store sales. As North America's largest specialty retailer of fine jewelry, Zale now operates more than 2,300 retail locations throughout the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico as well as online. Zale Corporation's business units include Zales Jewelers, Zales Outlet, Zale.com at www.zales.com, Gordon's Jewelers, Bailey Banks & Biddle Fine Jewelers, Peoples Jewellers, Mappins Jewellers and Piercing Pagoda.

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