Wet Seal Considering Second Bankruptcy In Two Years

Image courtesy of Phillip Pessar

No, we haven’t gone into reruns: Wet Seal, a clothing retailer geared toward women in their teens and twenties, is considering celebrating the second anniversary of its last bankruptcy by popping the cork on a second one. This time, though, the chain is hoping to quietly sell itself without going through the expense and hassle of court proceedings.

This information came out thanks to those ever-mysterious “people with knowledge of the situation,” who shared the news with Bloomberg.

Last time around, the company closed 338 stores abruptly, leaving employees in the dark about what was happening to the company and to the stores where they worked. That left 171 locations still open, though, and the company’s comeback has apparently not gone very well.

The same forces affecting other similar retailers are to blame: people just aren’t visiting malls like they used to, and teens are shopping at fast-fashion stores like H&M or Zara instead of mid-price mall chains. Old Navy is the only Gap Inc. brand that’s thriving, American Apparel also filed for bankruptcy twice in two years, The Limited closed down all of its stores in malls and plans to go online-only, and Aeropostale reopened earlier this month under new ownership after its own bankruptcy.

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