Orange County Business Journal

Wet Seal November Sales Beat Estimates

Kari Hamanaka Thursday, November 29, 2012

Foothill Ranch-based teen and contemporary retailer Wet Seal Inc. reported better-than-expected same-store sales for the four weeks through Nov. 24.

The company reported a 5.4% decline in same-store sales for the November period, coming in lower than the 6.8% fall analysts on average expected.

Wet Seal shares were up 1% in midday trading Thursday. The company had a recent market value of $263 million.

The November results continue a trend of narrowing monthly same-store losses for the company that began in September.

Wet Seal operates its namesake chain of 475 stores for teens along with 81 Arden B stores aimed at young women.

The Arden B division saw same-store sales fall 6.9% during the period, while Wet Seal fell 5.1%.

Total net sales for the month fell 4.6% to $48.8 million.

Wet Seal estimates Hurricane Sandy impacted same-store sales in November by about 1%.

The company said in a statement that the November results were "modestly ahead of our expectations" and expects to have sold most of its back-to-school and fall merchandise by early December.

"We are also seeing encouraging signs of regaining our long-time customers and believe we will continue to do so as we make further enhancements to our merchandise assortments to align with their fashion tastes," the company said.