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Wet Seal CEO pleased with denim business performance
Sep '08
The Wet Seal Inc a leading specialty retailer to young women, reported net sales and comparable store sales for the four-week period ended August 30, 2008, or fiscal August, as follows.

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Ed Thomas, chief executive officer of The Wet Seal Inc, commented: "Overall, August comparable store sales were in line with our expectations.

"At our Wet Seal stores, performance accelerated in the second half of the month following a notable slowdown in late July and early August.

We were pleased with the strength in our denim business, particularly fashion denim, as well as in several accessory categories, although this was more than offset by a decline in our tops business.

Our denim sales were supported by a strategy to carry both private label and branded denim in greater depth this back-to-school season versus the prior year.

Regarding our tops business, as previously noted we believe that we were over-assorted in some categories entering August and believe we have opportunity for improvement in this business as Maria Comfort, our new Wet Seal Chief Merchandise Officer, sets the strategy for the upcoming holiday season."

Mr. Thomas continued, "At Arden B, business remained challenged by the ongoing difficult retail environment and our continued maintenance of very conservative inventory levels as we evaluate our new merchandising strategy.

Though not unexpected, we believe we've missed some selling opportunity as a result of tight inventory management, with inventories per square foot at Arden B down 36% when we entered August as compared to the same period last year.

While we remain in a very difficult cycle for young contemporary women's apparel, going forward we intend to add inventory depth prudently in select categories and will modify certain pricing and promotional strategies in an effort to enhance sales without sacrificing recent margin performance gains."

The Wet Seal Inc

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