1/12/00 - Zale Corporation Partners with WeddingChannel.com To Offer Wedding Planning Services and Bridal Jewelry Online-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- LOS ANGELES, Jan 12, 2000 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- -- Exclusive Agreement with North America's Largest Specialty Jeweler Introduces 700,000 Bridal Customers to WeddingChannel.com -- WeddingChannel.com (www.weddingchannel.com), the most comprehensive online wedding planning resource and bridal registry with 900,000 registered brides and grooms, today announced an exclusive agreement with Zale Corporation (NYSE: ZLC), the largest specialty retailer of fine jewelry in North America. The agreement enables Zale Corporation to deepen and extend the relationship with its over 700,000 annual bridal customers by offering them wedding planning services on WeddingChannel.com. Additionally, bridal customers will be encouraged to return to Zale Corporation retail outlets and websites (www.zales.com), and to continue with WeddingChannel for post-engagement jewelry needs. WeddingChannel.com will create and aggressively promote an exclusive online jewelry boutique with content and tools to help couples, their family and guests purchase bridal jewelry and other special gifts. Zale Corporation will promote WeddingChannel.com at all of its divisions, including Zales, Gordon's, Bailey Banks & Biddle and Peoples, its online sites (www.zales.com) and in national promotional campaigns. This partnership is designed to introduce a substantial share of an estimated five million couples throughout the U.S. and Canada who wed each year to WeddingChannel.com before they get engaged. "Our agreement with WeddingChannel.com will continue to build upon Zale Corporation's leadership position in the online jewelry market as we move forward in the year 2000 and beyond," said Robert DiNicola, chairman, Zale Corporation. "Through this partnership, we are able to strengthen our brand and increase sales channels within the significant bridal market." "The bridal market accounts for almost 40 percent of Zale Corporation's overall sales," said Beryl Raff, president and CEO, Zale Corporation. "This agreement will deepen our relationship with our bridal customers. The new jewelry boutique will also include tips on proposing, information on cultural and ethnic traditions, and feature the best engagement stories. Additionally, WeddingChannel.com will provide ideas for coordinating fashion and jewelry." "This partnership helps achieve our mission and secure our leadership in online wedding planning" said Adam Berger, President of WeddingChannel.com. "Our mission is to provide brides and grooms with the most comprehensive tools, information, and commerce to make the "I will" to "I do" journey as easy as possible. Our strategy remains to selectively partner with best-in-class brick-and-mortar retailers in the 20 or so segments comprising the $32 billion bridal market. With registry partners at Macy's, Burdines, The Bon Marche, Stern's, Rich's, Lazarus and Goldsmith's, and our new partners at Zale, we have achieved exclusive, long-term leadership positions at the beginning and end of the engagement period, and as the couple starts a family." WeddingChannel.com will complement its leading bridal fashion section with a new content-rich jewelry boutique to assist couples and their guests with important jewelry purchases such as wedding bands, bridal party gifts and related items. Basic information on purchasing a diamond ring, including how to understand a diamond's four characteristics (color, clarity, carats, and cut), and how to care for the stone will be included as well as tips for proposing, information about cultural and ethnic traditions and chats featuring the best engagement stories. With its bridal fashion section containing thousands of bridal gowns, bridesmaids dresses and tuxedos, WeddingChannel.com will provide ideas for coordinating jewelry with fashion. WeddingChannel.com's partnership with Zale Corporation marks another milestone in the company's plan to build exclusive relationships with top merchandisers of bridal related goods and services. Adding to the 900,000 brides and grooms who are already registered users on WeddingChannel.com, this agreement secures WeddingChannel.com's position as the clear leader in the online bridal planning and registry space. WeddingChannel.com currently has exclusive agreements with BRIDE's Magazine, Federated Department Stores, Yahoo.com and Go Network. About Zale Corporation Zale Corporation operates 1,359 specialty retail jewelry stores located throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and online, including Zales Jewelers, Zales Outlet, Zales Direct at www.zales.com, Gordon's Jewelers, Bailey Banks & Biddle Fine Jewelers and Peoples Jewellers. Additional information on Zale Corporation and its operating brands is available on the Internet at www.zalecorp.com. About WeddingChannel.com With its patent-pending integrated technology, WeddingChannel.com (www.weddingchannel.com), the Web's leading bridal resource, is the first Internet business to offer consumers a complete menu of wedding-related services, including personalized web pages, planning tools, e-commerce, online travel planning, local business directories and the largest database of bridal fashions. Through exclusive relationships with the top retail brands in the world including Bloomingdale's, Macy's, The Bon Marche, Burdines, Goldsmiths, Lazarus, Rich's, Stern's and Zales, WeddingChannel.com has created an integrated online and off-line bridal registry which services more than 900,000 registered brides and grooms. WeddingChannel.com has also formed a multi-million dollar content, sales and marketing partnership with Conde Nast's BRIDE'S Magazine, the number one bridal media brand. The company is also the GO Network premier Wedding content provider and a premier wedding merchant on Yahoo!. Based in Los Angeles, California, WeddingChannel.com is a private company whose investors include MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, Inc., Goldman Sachs, MSD Capital, RRE Investors, idealab!, idealab! Capital Partners and Federated Department Stores. Copyright (C) 2000 Business Wire. All rights reserved.
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