Wet Seal taps PacSun exec as executive VP and chief merchandising officer

Wet Seal has named former PacSun (NASDAQ:PSUN) executive Christine Lee as executive VP and chief merchandising officer as the retailer of young women's apparel attempts to reestablish its viability with core shoppers and reverse a running trend of double-digit same-store sales declines.

Lee is slated to join the women's apparel retailer on Sept. 3. She will report to CEO John Goodman. Lee previously acted as senior VP and general merchandise manager at Pacific Sunwear (PacSun), where she has worked since 2010. Prior to PacSun, she worked for 18 years at Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN), where she began her career as a sales associate.

"Wet Seal's strong roots in junior fast fashion and dynamic leadership make this a compelling opportunity," Lee said in a company statement. "I am excited to work with the executive and merchandising teams and believe there is a powerful runway to drive growth and enhance Wet Seal's brand positioning."

Wet Seal has seen little recent company growth, operating more than 500 stores nationwide with same-store sales declining since the fourth quarter of 2013. The drops resulted in net losses for 2013's third and fourth quarter, moving into 2014 with a sales loss of 16.5 percent. Sales declines for the second quarter of 2014 are expected to improve with figures estimated between 8 and 11 percent. Lee's appointment seems like a strategic move by the company to further augment the retargeting of merchandise to younger audiences and mitigate declining sales. Press Release