Orange County Business Journal

Wet Seal Sales Decline Narrows in February

Kari Hamanaka Thursday, March 1, 2012

Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal Inc.’s same-store sales declined again in February but still managed to beat analyst expectations.

Companywide sales of stores open at least a year fell 5.8% last month.

Analysts on average expected sales to fall 9%.

Wet Seal operates 468 of its namesake stores for teens in addition to 84 Arden B stores geared to young women.

The February results marked the sixth-straight month of same-store sales dips for the retailer.

They were an improvement from the 13% drop in January.

“February sales were in line with our expectations,” Wet Seal Chief Executive Susan McGalla said in a statement. “The sales trend at Wet Seal improved sequentially from January as we built higher apparel unit inventory levels during the month, while sales performance at Arden B remained similar to recent months.”

Sales at the company’s Arden B division were hit particularly hard, falling 14.3% for the month.

The Wet Seal chain’s same-store sales last month were down 4.3%.

Wet Seal is scheduled to report its results for the January quarter later this month.

In January the company adjusted its profit outlook for the recently ended quarter to $2.8 million, which is on the lower end of its previous guidance of $2.8 million to $4.6 million.