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 2, 2008, or fiscal July, and the fiscal second quarter ended August 2, 2008, as follows:
The Company indicated it expects to achieve results at or near the high end of previously announced fiscal second quarter earnings guidance, which was for net income between $0.07 to $0.09 per diluted share, or between $0.09 and $0.11 per diluted share before the effect of $1.9 million in non-cash interest charges associated with a June 2008 conversion of $3.4 million of the Company's Secured Convertible Notes into common stock.
Ed Thomas, chief executive officer of The Wet Seal Inc, commented: "Our July comparable store sales reflect continuation of a very difficult and highly promotional market. Consistent with our approach through the first half of the year, we remain focused on tightly managing all aspects of our business as we enter the important back-to-school selling season.
We ended the fiscal second quarter with consolidated inventories per square foot approximately 12% to 13% below the comparable prior year level, which was in line with our expectations and, we believe, properly reflects the current selling environment.
"We also remain on course with the Arden B merchandising transition we started in the first quarter this year, though we have been very cautious with overall inventory levels during the early evaluation stage of this effort. As of the end of July, approximately 70% of Arden B inventory now reflects our new strategy, and sell-through rate on this merchandise during July exceeded the division's rate as a whole."
Mr. Thomas continued, "We are pleased with our expectation to achieve at or near the high end of our previously announced second quarter earnings guidance, which reflects our cautious merchandising approach and our ongoing efforts to manage other aspects of our business very conservatively through this difficult period."