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Wet Seal Lays Off 3,700 as It Closes 338 Stores

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Wet Seal Considers Out-of-Court Restructuring and Bankruptcy

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif. -- Wet Seal (WTSL) is closing 338 stores, about two-thirds of its locations, resulting in nearly 3,700 full- and part-time workers losing their jobs.

The retailer, which sells clothing, footwear and accessories for teen girls and young women, said that it decided to proceed with the store closings after looking at its overall financial condition and because it wasn't able to negotiate meaningful concessions from landlords.

The closings are effective Wednesday.

"This was a very difficult decision to make, but after reviewing many other options since I returned to the company in September, our financial condition leaves us no other alternative than to close these stores," CEO Ed Thomas said in a statement.

Thomas came back to Wet Seal as CEO after John D. Goodman resigned from the post. Thomas previously served as president and CEO of Wet Seal from October 2007 to January 2011.

The Wet Seal Inc. said that it estimates the stores closed represented about 48 percent of net sales for the nine months ended Nov. 1, 2014.

Wet Seal anticipates operating about 173 stores and its online business following the store closings.

The Foothill Ranch, California, company expects about $5.4 million to $6.4 million in charges related to the closings.

 

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