Orange County Business Journal

Wet Seal Lowers Guidance for April Quarter

Kari Hamanaka Thursday, May 3, 2012

Foothill Ranch-based teen retailer Wet Seal Inc. lowered its guidance for the April quarter after another month of disappointing same-store sales.

Wet Seal operates 469 Wet Seal stores geared to teen girls and another 84 stores for young women under its Arden B division.

Shares were down about 4% in midday New York trading after the retailer said it expects earnings of $1.8 million for the quarter ended April 28. Wet Seal previously issued guidance of $1.8 million to $3.5 million.

The adjusted guidance follows Wet Seal’s 9.6% companywide decline in same-store sales, marked by weak sales of tops seen in both divisions.

Wet Seal Chief Executive Susan McGalla said the April results were “within our range of expectations.”

Analysts on average expected same-store sales to fall 9% for the month.

The decline was led by a 12.1% fall in Arden B’s April same-store sales, which also saw weakness in its dresses and accessories sales.

The Wet Seal division saw a 9.1% decline in same-store sales for the month with a slowdown also seen in its jewelry sales.