Orange County Business Journal

Wet Seal August Sales Up, Teen Division Leads

Kari Hamanaka Thursday, September 1, 2011

Foothill Ranch-based mall retailer Wet Seal Inc. reported higher than expected August sales resulting driven by a strong back-to-school season for its namesake teen division.

The company, which sells clothes for teen girls and young women, saw sales of stores open at least a year up 5.5% last month.

Analysts on average expected same-store sales to be up 4.2%.

The company operates 545 stores made up mostly of its Wet Seal chain for teen girls, which accounts for 461 of those stores.

A young women’s division named Arden B. makes up the rest of the company’s stores.

August sales mark the eighth consecutive month of sales gains for the company.

Wet Seal led the increase for the company last month with a 7.3% increase in sales resulting from what Chief Executive Susan McGalla called a “back-to-school assortment of fashion at a compelling value.”

Sales at Arden B. didn’t fare as well.

The company’s young women’s division saw August sales fall 8.7%.

“At Arden B., we saw continued growth in our dress business, while we were disappointed in sportswear and accessory categories,” McGalla said.

Sales at Arden B. are expected to be improve with better planned promotions starting the week after Labor Day, according to McGalla.