Wet Seal Announces The Inevitable: It’s Closing 66% Of Its Stores Starting Right Now

The end has certainly felt nigh for Wet Seal recently, as a death dirge has been wafting from the general direction of the teen ’90s dream store amid reports of lackluster sales, a company trying to give itself a makeover and the outrage of former employees claiming mistreatment at the hands of corporate. Wet Seal isn’t dead yet, but it did announce today that it’ll be closing 66% of its stores, laying off around 3,695 employees in the process.

It’s unclear if those layoff numbers include Wet Seal employees who claim they’ve recently found themselves jobless with little to no notice, however.

The massive cut is a sort of Hail Mary pass, as Wet Seal explains the decision to close the 338 stores came after an assessment of its finances left it no other option, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The company saw this coming in December, when it said bankruptcy protection could be imminent if it wasn’t able to right its sinking ship lickety-split.

If you’re working at Wet Seal right now and reading this, you should be sitting down by now, as the company says the closures are effective “on or about” Wednesday, or today, after negotiations with landlords apparently fell through.

The stores that are closing made up about 48% of the company’s sales in the nine months ending Nov. 1, Wet Seal says. There will now just be 173 stores, along with the online business.

Meanwhile, dELiA*s is like, “Come on in, the water’s fine! And there are nachos!”

Wet Seal to Close 66% of Its Stores [Wall Street Journal]

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