Byline: Rusty Williamson

DALLAS — Zale Corp., the nation’s largest fine jewelry chain, has named Philip N. Diehl president of Zale.com and senior vice president of the corporation, a new position.
Diehl, currently director of the U.S. Mint, has been tapped to further develop Zale’s e-tailing division that was launched in 1997. He assumes the post in early April and reports to Beryl Raff, president and chief executive officer at Zale.
He will oversee site development, online sales, marketing, fulfillment and customer relationship management for all Zale Corp.’s divisions, including Zales Jewelers, Bailey Banks & Biddle Fine Jewelers, Gordon’s Jewelers and People’s Jewellers.
“We’ll be launching the next version of Zale.com later this year. The visuals and functionality of the site will be considerably different,” Diehl told WWD on Thursday. “Before yearend, we’ll launch the Bailey, Banks & Biddle Web site. Gordon’s Jewelers and People’s Jewellers will come in 2001.”
In his six-year tenure as director of the U.S. Mint, a branch of the U.S. Treasury Department, Diehl helped to create and implement USMint.gov, the mint’s online retail service that is projected to reach $70 million in sales its first year. It had sales of $26.3 million for the quarter ending Dec. 31, 1999.
At the mint, Diehl guided the 50 State Quarters program and the new Golden Dollar through approval by Congress, product development and launch.
“Philip Diehl’s experience fits Zale Corp.’s overall e-commerce strategy,” noted Raff. “His background in e-tailing, order fulfillment and customer care, coupled with his marketing expertise and success in new product development will enable Zale Corp. to enhance its online business.”
In addition to its e-commerce business, Zale operates about 1,350 specialty retail jewelry stores located across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.