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Press release from Business Wire

The Wet Seal, Inc. Announces September Comparable Store Sales Declined 0.3%

<p class='bwalignc'> <b>Affirms Q3 Earnings Guidance</b> </p>

Thursday, October 06, 2011

The Wet Seal, Inc. Announces September Comparable Store Sales Declined 0.3%07:00 EDT Thursday, October 06, 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 five-week period ended October 1, 2011, or fiscal September, as follows: Fiscal September           Comparable Store Sales Net Sales % Change         % Change From         $ in Millions     Last Year This Year     Last Year Wet Seal $45.2 4.6 % 0.0 % 0.1 % Arden B 8.4     5.9 % -2.2 %     -5.5 % Total $53.6     4.8 % -0.3 %     -0.7 % Susan McGalla, chief executive officer of The Wet Seal, Inc., commented: “While our overall sales results were below our expectations for the month, we were pleased to generate improved merchandise margins in both divisions versus the prior year. With disciplined and more strategic promotional strategies and inventory management, we continued to grow merchandise margins despite increased product cost pressures. “At Wet Seal, we saw positive momentum continue through Labor Day weekend, driven by our assortment of back-to-school fashion at a compelling value. Business became more challenging at Wet Seal following the back-to-school peak. “At Arden B, we experienced a similar trend, where early strength was followed by slower business in the latter part of September, though results improved versus August due to a better planned promotional cadence through the month.” Ms. McGalla continued, “As the retail environment remains challenging and customer behavior difficult to predict, we continue to manage inventories conservatively and focus on better promotional planning to balance our priorities of sales growth and gross margin improvement.” For the fiscal month, the Company's e-commerce sales declined 22%, 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. Ms. McGalla concluded, “We continue to expect fiscal third quarter earnings will be in the range of $0.05 to $0.06 per diluted share, with comparable store sales slightly below our initial guidance of positive mid single-digits.” 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 October 1, 2011, the Company operated a total of 545 stores in 47 states and Puerto Rico, including 460 Wet Seal stores and 85 Arden B stores. The Company's products can also be purchased online at or For more Company information, visit 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 the Company's guidance for its third quarter of fiscal 2011 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