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Press release from Business Wire

The Wet Seal, Inc. Announces August Comparable Store Sales Increased 5.5%

Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Wet Seal, Inc. Announces August Comparable Store Sales Increased 5.5%07:00 EDT Thursday, September 01, 2011 FOOTHILL RANCH, Calif. (Business Wire) -- The Wet Seal, Inc. (Nasdaq: WTSLA), a leading specialty retailer to young women, reported net sales and comparable store sales for the four-week period ended August 27, 2011, or fiscal August, as follows: Fiscal August     Net Sales     Comparable Store Sales% Change $ in Millions   % Change FromLast Year This Year   Last Year Wet Seal $51.8   12.7 % 7.3 %   1.5 % Arden B 6.2   -5.9 % -8.7 %   -1.8 % Total $58.0   10.3 % 5.5 %   1.1 %   Susan McGalla, chief executive officer of The Wet Seal, Inc., commented: “Our overall sales results were in line with our expectations in this very important sales month, with further strength in our Wet Seal business slightly offset by a decline at Arden B. “At Wet Seal, our back-to-school assortment of fashion at a compelling value drove continued positive sales momentum and higher merchandise margin versus the prior year. Our accessories business led broad-based strength at Wet Seal, generating our eighth consecutive month of positive comparable store sales at this division.” Ms. McGalla continued, “At Arden B, we saw continued growth in our dress business, while we were disappointed in sportswear and accessory categories. Our merchandise margin for the month improved versus the prior year at Arden B. We believe we have opportunity to improve sales results in this division through better planned promotional cadence in key categories, beginning the week after Labor Day.” For the fiscal month, the Company's e-commerce sales declined 23%, as the Company continues its strategic efforts to transition to a higher penetration of full-price selling online and better align merchandising in this channel with its stores. 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 August 27, 2011, the Company operated a total of 545 stores in 47 states and Puerto Rico, including 461 Wet Seal stores and 84 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, statements that relate to opportunities for sales improvement in the Company's Arden B division 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. The Wet Seal, Inc.Steven H. Benrubi, 949-699-3947