NEW YORK -- With Zale Corp. getting back on its feet, chairman and chief executive officer Robert J. DiNicola is ready to step down -- for the second time.
DiNicola, who will retire in July, first became chairman and ceo of Zale in 1994, streamlined the firm and put it on a growth track. In 2000, he retired, but returned to the helm in February 2001 after the company took a sharp turn for the worse. It went after hefty comp gains as the economy cooled, spent big on marketing and merchandise and fell way short on the top and bottom lines.
Now, however, "the business is certainly stabilized and will still be improving by the time I leave at the end of July," DiNicola said. "All the objectives will have been completed," including implementing tighter controls on expenses and inventory, strengthening the management team, integrating the Piercing Pagoda kiosk operation, and seeing through the sale of the credit business.
DiNicola, 54, said he announced his decision well in advance to "insure an orderly transition." He retires July 31, the end of the jewelry retailer's fiscal year.
A search for a successor will be conducted, but a search firm has not yet been selected. DiNicola said executives inside and outside of the firm will be considered, but declined to name any. A probable top candidate is Mary Forte, chief merchandising officer. But the chain could consider others, such as divisional presidents Pam Romano at Zale, Charlene Wuellner at Gordon's, Charlie Fieramosca at Bailey's, Paul Leonard at Pagoda or John Zimmerman, president of People's.
DiNicola said he plans to spend more time with his wife and two children, rest and sail, but he would also enter into a consulting agreement with the firm.
The $2.3 billion Zale is the nation's largest jewelry retailer, with more than 2,300 stores.
The company has expressed satisfaction with its recent performance. In the quarter ended Jan. 31, the company reported net income, before an unusual item, of $93 million, or $2.64 per diluted share, an increase of 4.8 percent on a share basis. Sales were $893 million, up 3.6 percent; comp sales rose 1.4 percent.
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye