Zale’s holiday same-store sales up 8.5%

Dallas -- Zale Corp.’s same-store sales rose 8.5% during the November-December selling period. This figure is a key indicator of a retailer's health because it gauges results at existing stores instead of newly opened ones.

Zale is refocusing its merchandise on diamonds and stepping up training of its workers, said CEO Theo Killion in a Bloomberg report. The company increased the number of salespeople certified by the Diamond Council of America to 2,000, from 800 last year, and plans to add more, he said.

Killion was appointed CEO in September after serving on an interim basis since January 2010.