Zales and Kay Jewelers Corporate Staff in Texas and Ohio Offered Voluntary Exits

Signet, the parent company to Kay, Jared's and Zales Jewelers, on Thursday made a voluntary separation offer to its 3,400 corporate employees in an effort to cut costs and rebuild its business.The retail company has two corporate offices with 2,608 people in Akron, Ohio and a staff of 789 in Irving. Signet purchased Irving-based Zale Corp. in 2014, merging the two largest mall-based jewelry retailers in the U.S. Signet CEO Gina Drosos is in the second year of a three-year plan she has said will put the company on a new growth path for both its in-store and online businesses.The company needs to cut costs to fund improvements in systems, capabilities, product and stores, Drosos said in a letter to employees. Signet has been negotiation to reduce rents and has been working with vendors to lower its costs of goods, she said, "But we also need to make some hard decisions to get Signet where we need to be."Without saying how many people or what dollar amount the company needs to save from the voluntary cuts, Drosos said she's hopeful that the program will achieve the costs savings needed. However, she said, "we may need to make further headcount reductions to free needed funding for investments.""I want to emphasize that we are in the midst of a significant and challenging transformation of a legacy mall retailer to a modern omnichannel category leader," Drosos said in her letter. "We need to take bold actions to free up resources necessary to operate more efficiently and make the investments necessary for continued growth."Employees who have worked at the company for at least two years are eligible for the program which includes severance. The offer is to district manager level and above, but excluded are "our high production areas of distribution, manufacturing, customer care and security are not eligible for the program," said a memo to employees from chief people officer Mary Liz Finn.The company is reporting its fourth-quarter in early April and plans to announce the results of the voluntary staff cuts at that time, said spokesman David Bouffard.Twitter: @MariaHalkias  Continue reading...

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