Just how bad is it? Wet Seal's third-quarter revenues were down 6% to $136.1 million, while same-store sales declined 10.2%. The company also widened its loss to $7.53 million, or $0.25 per share.
Wet Seal has suffered from a not-so-trendy product mix for several quarters now and the company had to mark down prices to clear inventory leading into the holiday season, dropping gross margins to 20.9% from 27.5%.
To be fair, American Eagle Outfitters
Sure, the company opened one Wet Seal store and three Arden B. stores during the quarter. But it also closed five other Wet Seal/Contempo stores, and plans to terminate 16 other Wet Seal and Arden B. stores during the fourth quarter. The company will finish the fiscal year with 606 stores in operation.
This is a company in limbo. Wet Seal announced that CFO William Langsford will step down for personal reasons -- and he had only been with the company since October 2002. CEO Peter Whitford has held his position since May, and he faces a daunting turnaround task.
But before that turnaround occurs, Wet Seal expects to lose another $0.16 to $0.21 per share in the fourth quarter, with same-store sales dropping 5% to 7%.