Signet Jewelers, the largest fine jewellery retailer in the US and UK, has acquired Zale Corporation, the second largest in the US, in a US$1.4bn deal which is set to create the world’s largest jewellery retailer with 3600 stores.
Signet currently operates over 1400 stores (primarily under the names of Kay Jewelers and Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry) in the US and around 500 stores (primarily under the names of H.Samuel and Ernest Jones) in the UK while Zale operates around 1680 stores in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as online under brand names which include Zales Jewelers, Gordon’s Jewelers and Peoples Jewellers.
Announcing the deal, Signet’s CEO Mike Barnes said the “transformational acquisition”, which is expected to generate approximately US$6.2 billion in annual sales, would further diversify the company’s businesses and extend its international footprint, “opening the door to greater growth and innovation”.
“The addition of Zale to the Signet family is consistent with our long-term growth strategy and leverages our combined operating expertise to create better choices for our customers, new opportunities for our employees and make us a more attractive partner to our vendors.
“In addition, it allows us to better optimise our balance sheet, creating long-term value for our shareholders.
“We are excited about the prospects for the combined company and the many opportunities that this creates for our future. I am happy to say it is our intention that Zale will continue to run under current leader CEO, Theo Killion, who would report directly to me after the transaction closes.”
Barnes added that he was “extremely excited” about the deal as “it has been a lot of hard work by the teams on both sides and months in the making”.
“The addition of Zale will help us maximize our midmarket success in a variety of ways around merchandise, innovation and testing, new formats, service programs, custom design and that is just to name a few.
“The combination of Signet and Zale is powerful and compelling… this transformational acquisition will expand our footprint geographically as we become the number one specialty jeweller in Canada.”
* Pictured above is Signet CEO Mike Barnes