The Wet Seal, Inc. Announces December Comparable Store Sales Declined 9.7%

The Wet Seal, Inc. Announces December Comparable Store Sales Declined 9.7%

Updates Fourth Quarter EPS Guidance to Be at Low End of Initial Range

FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Wet Seal, Inc. (NAS: WTSLA) , a leading specialty retailer to young women, reported net sales and comparable store sales for the five-week period ended December 29, 2012, or fiscal December, as follows:

Fiscal December

     

 

        Comparable Store

Net Sales

Sales % Change

 

      % Change

 

     

 

$ in Millions

From Last Year

This Year

Last Year

Wet Seal $ 62.9 -7.2 % -9.4 % -2.5 %
Arden B   10.1 -14.7 % -11.5 % -10.2 %
Total $ 73.0 -8.3 % -9.7 % -3.7 %

E-commerce sales, which are not included in comparable store sales, increased 10.4% in fiscal December.

The Company today issued the following statement:

"December sales were below our expectations, driven mainly by lower than expected transactions throughout the month. Through careful inventory management and promotional strategies, we brought inventories to appropriate levels as we exited the holiday season."

The Company now estimates fiscal fourth quarter loss will be at or near the low end of its initial range of a loss of $0.03 to $0.06 per diluted share. This estimate does not include the impact of any potential non-cash asset impairments or other unusual charges which, if incurred, would increase the loss per diluted share for the quarter.

The Company also announced it will be holding its annual shareholder meeting on Thursday, May 23, 2013. While the Company's former board of directors had contemplated an earlier meeting date, the current board has decided to maintain the Company's typical May annual shareholder meeting timing.

About The Wet Seal, Inc.

Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, The Wet Seal, Inc. is a leading specialty retailer of fashionable and contemporary apparel and accessory items. As of December 29, 2012, the Company operated a total of 555 stores in 47 states and Puerto Rico, including 475 Wet Seal stores and 80 Arden B stores. The Company's products can also be purchased online at www.wetseal.com or www.ardenb.com. For more company information, visit www.wetsealinc.com.

SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995: This news release contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the Company's guidance for its fourth quarter of fiscal 2012 and the intent, belief, plans or expectations of the Company or its management. All forward-looking statements made by the Company involve material risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on factors beyond the Company's control. Accordingly, the Company's future performance and financial results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in any such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This news release contains results reflecting partial year data and non-fiscal data that may not be indicative of results for similar future periods or for the full year. The Company will not undertake to publicly update or revise its forward-looking statements even if experience or future changes make it clear that any projected results expressed or implied therein will not be realized.

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The Wet Seal, Inc.
Steven H. Benrubi
949-699-3947

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  California

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:

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