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Press release from Business Wire

The Wet Seal, Inc. Announces December Comparable Store Sales Declined 3.7%

<p class='bwalignc'> <b>Affirms Fourth Quarter EPS Guidance</b> </p>

Thursday, January 05, 2012

The Wet Seal, Inc. Announces December Comparable Store Sales Declined 3.7%07:00 EST Thursday, January 05, 2012 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 December 31, 2011, or fiscal December, as follows: Fiscal December           Comparable Store Sales Net Sales % Change       % Change         $ in Millions     From Last Year This Year     Last Year Wet Seal $67.7 2.2% -2.5% -3.7% Arden B 11.9     -9.7% -10.2%     8.5% Total $79.6     0.2% -3.7%     -2.1% Susan McGalla, chief executive officer of The Wet Seal, Inc., commented: “December comparable store sales results were within our range of expectations for both divisions. “At Wet Seal, after a slow start to the month, we generated nearly flat comparable store sales over the final two weeks of December. At the same time, we maintained less aggressive promotional levels than last year at Wet Seal throughout the holiday season. As such, despite a highly promotional competitive environment and commodity cost pressures, we were pleased to generate improved merchandise margin at Wet Seal through this very important month. “At Arden B, sales trends remained similar to recent months, with strength in our dress, woven bottoms and jewelry businesses more than offset by weakness in all other categories. We will continue to carefully manage Arden B inventories as we identify opportunities for improvement. “For the month, the Company's e-commerce sales declined 20%, which was similar to November's trend and reflects an improvement from prior months driven by progress in the Wet Seal division toward better aligned merchandising between the online channel and the stores.” Ms. McGalla continued, “We continue to expect fiscal fourth quarter earnings will be in the range of $0.03 to $0.05 per diluted share, with comparable store sales in line with our initial guidance of a decrease in the low single-digits.” Ms. McGalla concluded, “We remain comfortable with our inventory levels overall as we exit the holiday season.” 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 31, 2011, the Company operated a total of 559 stores in 47 states and Puerto Rico, including 473 Wet Seal stores and 86 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, the Company's guidance for its fourth 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