Wet Seal to Close Two-Thirds of Stores, Lay Off about 3,700 Workers

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — It remains unclear how many Bay Area locations of the teen retailer Wet Seal will be among the two-thirds of the company’s stores to close.

The company is closing a total of 338 stores and laying off about 3,700 full and part-time workers.

The closings are effective Wednesday. Before the announcement, Wet Seal had stores in San Francisco, Pleasanton, Newark, Santa Rosa, and Gilroy.

“This was a very difficult decision to make, but after reviewing many other options since I returned to the company in September, our financial condition leaves us no other alternative than to close these stores,” CEO Ed Thomas said in a statement.

Thomas came back to Wet Seal as CEO after John D. Goodman resigned from the post. Thomas previously served as president and CEO of Wet Seal from October 2007 to January 2011.

The Wet Seal Inc. said that it estimates the stores closed represented about 48 percent of net sales for the nine months ended Nov. 1, 2014.

Wet Seal anticipates operating about 173 stores and its online business following the store closings.

Some employees staged a social media revolt earlier this week when news of the closings leaked.

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