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The Wet Seal Inc announces strong back-to-school season sales

Oct '06
The Wet Seal Inc, a leading specialty retailer to young women, reported that comparable store sales increased 5.8 percent for the five-week period ended September 30, 2006, compared with an increase of 44.9 percent in the same period a year ago.

Net sales for the five-week period ended September 30, 2006 were $52.3 million, compared with net sales of $47.9 million in the same period last year, an increase of 9.0 percent.

Joel Waller, Chief Executive Officer of The Wet Seal Inc, commented: "Sales for the back-to-school season were strong with increases in all significant product categories. Although we saw a moderation in the level of the comparable store sales increase during the third week of the month, sales rebounded in the last two weeks, leaving us optimistic about business for October."

The Company indicated that, for October, it expects a comparable store sales increase in the low single digits and expects it will have operating income before the effect of non-cash stock compensation for the third quarter that is consistent with prior guidance.

The Company's operating income and net income under generally accepted accounting principles are impacted such that increases in its stock price cause increases in expense.

Using the closing common stock price at the end of September, the third quarter charge for non-cash stock compensation would be approximately $4.5 million vs. the $1.9 million used in preparation of the Company'sguidance provided on August 18, 2006.

During the month, the Company opened three Wet Seal stores and closed one Wet Seal store and one Arden B store. At September 30, 2006, there were 320 Wet Seal stores and 91 Arden B stores.

The Wet Seal Inc

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