Wet Seal rebooting to focus on 18- to 24-year-olds

Troubled teen retailer Wet Seal (NASDAQ:WTSL) is implementing a turnaround plan, just three months after it declared bankruptcy.

The company, rather than blaming fast fashion for its demise like other teen retailers, said its problems came from within, reported Women's Wear Daily.

Ed Thomas is on his third stint as CEO at Wet Seal. When he joined back on in September, the company had already gone through an interim management team, two CEOs and several new strategies.

Soon after, Wet Seal shuttered 338 stores, two-thirds of all locations, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy before being acquired at auction by private equity firm Versa Capital Management. The 173 new stores that emerged are an integral part of the company's redesign, dubbed Seal 123.

"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," CFO Thomas Hillebrandt told Women's Wear Daily.

The company's most recent focus has been on providing the right products. The retailer expressed concerns that its target demographic may have been too young and is now hoping to appeal to women ages 18 to 24.

For more:
-See this Women's Wear Daily article (subscription)

Related stories:
Wet Seal files for bankruptcy
Wet Seal to reduce staff, cut costs
Wet Seal taps PacSun exec as executive VP and chief merchandising officer
Wet Seal to close Arden B, expand plus-size juniors
Wet Seal adds mobile payments with a teenage twist

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