Wet Seal CEO: Store closings were a ‘difficult decision’

The announcement that 338 of the apparel chain’s stores will be shuttered comes in the midst of a spate of employee complaints. Now, about 3,700 of them will lose their jobs.

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Apparel chain The Wet Seal announced in a brief press release Wednesday that it would close 338 of its stores, effective immediately.

“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.

He continued:

This is an extremely difficult time for the entire Wet Seal team, and we are doing everything we can to protect the interests of all of our stakeholders, including our employees. We acknowledge and sympathize with how hard these recent events have been on our employees, both those staying with the Company and especially those who are leaving the Company this week.

The store closings—a full two-thirds of the chain’s stores—mean 3,695 employees will be losing their jobs.

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