Zales Jewelers is a company that began in 1924 when three bright minds came together and opened the first retail store. This store located in Wichita Falls, Texas offered high quality merchandise at affordable prices. The store became a success thanks to their credit plan. This plan offered “a penny down and a dollar a week” for items that were highly priced.
This company has grown over the 90+ years to become one of the leading jewelry retail companies. It has expanded to over 700 stores and continues to serve even more customers through their online website. Signet Jewelers purchased Zales in 2014 and joined other companies such as Kay and Jared to operate under this parent company.
Zales places an emphasis on diamonds, which is why many customers think of this company first when they are looking for wedding and engagement rings. Their bridal items range from simple bands to lavish rings that have extravagant diamonds on them. They have something for everyone and this Zales review will answer all your questions about the company.
History of Zales
The history of Zales begins in March 29, 1924 when Morris Zale, Ben Lipshy and William Zale established it in Wichita Falls, Texas. They started the company to retail in jewelry but their inventory also included cookware, small appliances and cameras. The company expanded to 12 locations in Oklahoma and Texas as their credit policy, centralized buying policy and exceptional customer service became successful. In 1944, the company purchased Corrigan’s of Houston which became its first fine jewelry store.
Zales opened its first store within a shopping center in 1957. This was a step forward for them because prior to this, they had only operated from downtown locations. In that same year, the company announced that it would hold the first initial public offering for its stock. It began trading its shares on the American Stock Exchange to the public the next year in 1958.
Zales grew and expanded in the 1960s and branched out into drug stores, shoes, sporting goods, catalog stores and furniture. To reflect how diverse it had become, the company renamed to Zales Corporation. In the 1980’s, the sales of the company got to $1.04 billion and it acquired the 890 carat ‘Incomparable diamond’. This was the biggest diamond that was internally flawless in the entire world. The company also acquired Gordon’s Jewelers.
The company filed for bankruptcy in 1992 but was able to restructure its debt and emerge stronger the next year. Zales obtained 13 outlets across the nation in 1998 and launched its website as an online shopping platform. It also expanded after acquiring Piercing Pagoda and Peoples jewelers of Canada. It ranked #1 in unaided brand awareness on the JCK-Harrison Group Consumer Jewelry Study. Zales has continued to grow its e-commerce business over the years and grow as a multichannel jewelry retailer.
What makes Zales stand out?
One thing that stands out about Zales from our review is how diverse they are when it comes to jewelry. If you are looking for a ring for any occasion, Zales probably has it. They have a stunning variety of wedding rings and engagement rings that you can choose from. Their website is very engaging and has a lovely feel to it. The home page has a section of items divided up into categories that include watches, engagement rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings. There is also a dashboard to the right that helps you navigate to any of these categories easily.
Another thing that stands out about the Zales website is that they have a ‘create your own’ page which gives you the option of customizing your own item. You can customize your own engagement ring or get personalized jewelry based on your specifications. This section also lets you shop by style which can either be initial, monogram, mother’s and family jewelry or name jewelry.
As you scroll down the homepage on the Zales website, you get to a shopping tab that has an image search icon. This is quite unique because it is where you can upload a photo and there is an app that helps you find the style of jewelry that fits your style. This is a great way to improve customer experience and make shopping easier.
Zales Refund Policies and Customer Service
A Zales review would be incomplete without looking at their refund policies. Zales has a return and exchange policy that allows returns to the company within 30 days from making a purchase. Exchanges are done before 60 days elapse from the date of the jewelry purchase or shipment. For this policy to apply, the jewelry must be in good condition and have all the original accessories and certificates.
Returns cannot be done for special order watches. Gift returns with a receipt can only be converted for a gift card. There are also cash refunds to the purchaser who still has their original sales receipt. Refunds over $200 are done by check in 21 days. Returns without a receipt can only be accepted in exchange for a gift card.
Zales serves a large customer base from their website coupled with those who visit their physical stores. In comparison to other jewelry retail companies, Zales has been identified as slightly slower when it comes to customer concern responses. Despite this, they still get to resolve your query and offer a solution to your problem.
The diamonds offered by Zales are authentic. From our Zales review, all their diamonds are accompanied by an International Gemological Institute (IGI) certificate to prove that they are high quality stones. You can also seek to have an expert authenticate your diamond from Zales to make sure that you are getting a good stone.
Zales is a large jewelry retail store that also operates as a chain store. This means that their prices are not negotiable for rings because they need to maintain standard prices. They however have some offers and promos running where they cut off a percentage of the cost of a ring. This is one way you can get the ring you want at a slightly lower price.
Zales offers high quality rings whose prices may be higher to match the quality of the stone. Compared to other online jewelry retail companies, their prices may seem higher but this is because they operate on a different model. Zales has numerous physical stores that have overhead costs and to accommodate these costs, their prices need to be higher.
Zales Vs Kay
There are several things that make both Zales ans Kay stand out, especially the differences between them. These two brands are both some of the biggest jewelry companies that we know, which is why a Zales review would not be complete without a comparison of the two. The first aspect we look at is the quality of their diamonds. The diamonds from both Zales and Kay are certified mostly by the International Gemological Institute (IGI). Though this is a credited organization, it is not on the same level as AGS or GIA. Their gradings could be inflated than if they were from GIA or IGS.
These two companies offer a wide range of gemstone and diamond pieces set in gold and silver. Zales in general has more affordable pieces in comparison to Kay. Though Kay may be pricier, the product you choose to purchase should be of a higher quality to make it worth the investment. When it comes to the payment policies of the two, Zales and Kay offer the same policies and utilize similar delivery services. In terms of their websites, Kay has a website that is more organized for a customer making it easier to navigate through. They also have an FAQ section that will be quite helpful.
Our favorite engagement rings from Zales
Zales has a wide assortment of wedding rings and engagement that you can choose from. They give a focus to diamonds as affirmed in this Zales review, which is why you are sure to get the ring you are looking for. Their engagement rings come in different types, cuts and styles. Their website has images where you can view the ring designs that they have available. Here are some of our favorite engagement rings from Zales: