Former Wet Seal Employees Reveal More Woeful Tales Of Stores Limping On To Death

As the carnage continues at the 338 or so stores Wet Seal is closing down today come more tales from now former employees who point out that all the tragic signs were there. One worker says her store received a package called “Store Project.” Said “project” was the fun task of packing up the store’s credit card scanners and other electronics and shipping it back to corporate by today, Jan. 7.

But wait, how might one conduct a sale at an ostensibly open retail location while also completing this project, one worker who’d been with the company for a year and a half and worked at the Gulfport, MS store wondered.

“I thought, how do we function as a business if we’ve packed up our credit card scanners?” she told Bloomberg Businessweek.

Her store hadn’t gotten as much new inventory in recently, but she says Wet Seal explained that with a supposed renovation plan. When she called the store’s manager and that person was clueless as to what was going on, she tried emailing corporate offices, to no avail.

Finally, another store nearby called with some news.

“That’s when we were told we’re closing down,” she says, adding that managers have been offered about $300 in severance pay while others are apparently getting $100.

“I was due for a promotion last October, too, that they told me would come in March, with back pay,” she says. “I guess that’s not happening now either.”

Wet Seal workers from around the country have been reporting similar stories of little or no notice that their jobs were in danger, prompting ex-employees to express themselves via sign in places like Birmingham, Dayton and Seattle.

“It’s one thing to not tell us something, but they told us specifically not to look for jobs, that everything was fine, and that we had low inventory because they were just going to remodel the store,” says former assistant manager at a Dayton store.

“Oh, and they haven’t answered our e-mails in two weeks.”

Fellow teen retailer Deb is joining the ranks of Wet Seal and dEl*A’s right now as well, announcing today that it’s liquidating assets and closing 295 stores.

If you’re a current or former Wet Seal worker and want to weigh in on what’s going on at your store, feel free to drop us a line at We will never publish your name without your permission.

Wet Seal to Employees: Surprise—You’re Out of a Job [Businessweek]

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