BRIEF-Zale says February comp sales down so far, hurt by storms, tax issues

Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:51am EST

Feb 21 (Reuters) - Zale Corp : * Exclusive, branded merchandise now represents approx 10 percent of fine

jewelry revenue-presentation slide * CEO says exclusive, branded jewelry could eventually be 25 percent of fine

jewelry revenue * CFO says early February sales "very soft", comp sales month-to-date down by

"mid-single digit" percentage * CFO says weather in northeast, payroll tax increase affected early February

sales; sales trends around valentine's day improved * CEO says valentine's day comp was positive over year ago

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A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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