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'Disappointing Q1 sales', says Wet Seal CEO
23
May '12
The Wet Seal Inc. a leading specialty retailer to young women, announced results for its fiscal first quarter ended April 28, 2012, and introduced guidance for the second quarter of fiscal 2012.
Susan McGalla, the Company's chief executive officer, commented, “We are disappointed with our first quarter results and recent sales trends at both Wet Seal and Arden B. We are taking immediate actions to rebalance the assortments towards stronger selling categories.”

Ms. McGalla continued, “At Wet Seal, challenges in our tops business overshadow important progress we have made in our turnaround. Our fashion trend and color execution is relevant and strong. We are seeing strength and consistency in several key trending categories, including woven tops, fashion denim, shorts, dresses, blazers, shoes and accessories, and we look to build upon their success through the second quarter and into the third quarter.

“We are reducing our store opening plan to 20 to 22 net store openings at Wet Seal for fiscal 2012, a decrease from our prior plan of 25 to 30 net openings. This reflects a more selective approach to new store development while we're working on repositioning efforts at Wet Seal.

“At Arden B, we are currently positioning the brand for longer term growth. While protecting our position as a dress destination, we continue to focus on developing a compelling bottoms business at Arden B, which will enable more complete outfitting and drive customer loyalty.

“We have modified our Arden B real estate plans to focus entirely on turning around its merchandising and sales productivity challenges. As Arden B leases come up for renewal this year, we will either seek short-term extensions or allow the lease to expire and close the store.

“As a result, we expect the Arden B store base will decline from the current 84 stores to approximately 64 to 69 stores by the end of this fiscal year. This will allow us to put all efforts toward repositioning the brand. We are committed to the long-term future of Arden B and look forward to restoring strength in the business and resuming a growth trajectory.”

Ms. McGalla concluded, “On a positive note, we are seeing signs of stabilization in our e-commerce business. We continue to transition to a higher penetration of full-price selling online and better align merchandising and messaging in this channel with our stores, and we were pleased with the traction gained in this business as the first quarter progressed.”

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The Wet Seal Inc

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