Wet Seal was like my Mecca from years 2005-2008, along with Abercrombie and Hollister (I'm cringing) and since then, I've only stopped by their stores for inexpensive basics — leggings and tank tops, mostly. But now, it looks like Wet Seal is talking strategy for their comeback, according to WWD.
Just earlier this year, Wet Seal declared bankruptcy, and according to Bloomberg, the company had lost over $150 million in the past two years. The company tried several times to think of new strategies, but was left with shutting down around 338 stores, according to WWD. But after the declaration of bankruptcy, Wet Seal was taken up by Versa Capital Management, a private equity firm, in an auction.
This was made possible by the brand's legacy. CEO Ed Thomas told WWD, “There’s a reason why we were lucky enough to come out of bankruptcy in three months….The brand is not dead and has not been dead,” he said. And his plan of action? Picking just the right merchandise to put in its stores. Currently, Thomas told WWD that they are about 70 percent done with choosing this merchandise, and should have it locked down by July.
Their plan of action? Targeting an older age range than they are attracting now — aiming for shoppers ages 18-24 years old. Thomas attributes their demise to their focus on younger customers over the past four years. Right now, their market covers teens to shoppers in their early 20s.
I have to admit — while perusing through their online shop, I definitely found some items I could see myself wearing.
While no specifics about their merchandise or numbers have been released, I have a feeling that a smaller number of stores and focusing in on specific merchandise will lead to success.
Images: Wet Seal (3)