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Press release from Business Wire

The Wet Seal, Inc. Announces February Comparable Store Sales Declined 5.8%

Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Wet Seal, Inc. Announces February Comparable Store Sales Declined 5.8%07:00 EST Thursday, March 01, 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 four-week period ended February 25, 2012, or fiscal February, as follows:   Fiscal February       Comparable Store Sales Net Sales % Change   % Change From   $ in Millions   Last Year This Year   Last Year Wet Seal $ 40.5 -0.5 % -4.3 % 7.6 % Arden B   6.2   -16.8 % -14.3 %   3.0 % Total $ 46.7   -3.0 % -5.8 %   7.0 %   Susan McGalla, chief executive officer of The Wet Seal, Inc., commented: “February sales were in line with our expectations. The sales trend at Wet Seal improved sequentially from January as we built higher apparel unit inventory levels during the month, while sales performance at Arden B remained similar to recent months. “At Wet Seal, our denim and overall bottoms business continued to perform well, while tops and other categories declined, due in part to sales performance challenges from light inventory levels. We continue to build into stronger inventory positions in fashion tops, dresses, shorts and denim as we move into the peak spring selling season. At the same time, we remain cautious about near term sales expectations in light of our recent business trend. “At Arden B, we continued to experience weakness in all major categories. We will carefully manage Arden B inventories as we identify opportunities to strengthen the business. We set our initial spring merchandise in the back half of February, and we look forward to gradual improvement in sales performance. “For the month, E-commerce sales declined 24%, as we continue our strategic efforts to transition to a higher penetration of full-price selling online and better align merchandising in this channel with our 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 February 25, 2012, the Company operated a total of 552 stores in 47 states and Puerto Rico, including 468 Wet Seal stores and 84 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 inventory build and near term sales expectations, as well as 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