Teen retailer Wet Seal is suddenly closing all of its stores
Struggling teen retailer Wet Seal is closing all 171 of its stores.
In a letter dated January 20 that was obtained by The Wall Street Journal, the apparel retailer notified employees working in the company’s Irvine, California headquarters that the office was permanently shutting down and laying off all of its workers.
According to the Journal, Versa Capital, which acquired the brand for $7.5 million in cash in April 2015, couldn’t raise the necessary funding or find a buyer to keep the brand alive.
Wet Seal closed 338 of its then-511 stores in January 2015, shortly before the company filed for bankruptcy protection. Then, Wall Street analysts said that falling foot traffic at shopping malls played a major role in Wet Seal’s death spiral.
The teen retailer isn’t the only brand facing store closures as shoppers ditch malls.
Earlier in January, The Limited, another apparel brand primarily based in malls, shut down all 250 of its stores and laid off 4,000 workers. Mall staples Sears and Macy’s have also announced mass closures this year, with Sears planning to close 150 namesake stores and Kmart stores in 2017 and Macy’s planning to shutter another 100 stores.