Wet Seal is closing 338 stores, about two-thirds of its locations, resulting in nearly 3,700 full- and part-time workers losing their jobs.
The retailer, which sells clothing, footwear and accessories for teen girls and young women, said that it decided to proceed with the store closings after looking at its overall financial condition and because it wasn’t able to negotiate meaningful concessions from landlords.
The closings took effect immediately.
The company had five area stores — at Independence Center, Zona Rosa, Town Center Plaza and two at Oak Park Mall. On Tuesday, Wet Seal closed all but one Oak Park Mall store, according to area store managers.
“This was a very difficult decision to make, but after reviewing many other options since I returned to the company in September, our financial condition leaves us no other alternative than to close these stores,” CEO Ed Thomas said in a statement.
Thomas came back to Wet Seal as CEO after John D. Goodman resigned. Thomas served as president and CEO of Wet Seal from October 2007 to January 2011.
Wet Seal Inc. said it estimated the stores closed represented about 48 percent of net sales for the nine months that ended Nov. 1.
Wet Seal expects to operate 173 stores and its online business after the store closings.
The Foothill Ranch, Calif., company expects $5.4 million to $6.4 million in charges related to the closings.