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Wet Seal's same-store sales rise 7 percent in February

Meanwhile, the Foothill Ranch-based teen retailer plans to open fewer shops this year than originally anticipated.

By Kristen SchottPublished: March 03, 2011 10:04 AM

Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal saw an uptick in same-store sales last month, and in an effort to increase productivity at its existing shops, the teen retailer plans to open fewer locations this year than it had originally anticipated, according to the company.

Sales at stores open at least a year rose 7 percent in the four weeks ending Feb. 26, mainly due to a 7.6 percent gain at its Wet Seal locations. Numbers at its Arden B shops increased 3 percent.

The company reported net sales of $48.2 million last month, up 12.7 percent from 2010.

“We attribute our solid February sales performance to a well-balanced merchandise mix at Wet Seal and continued strength in our dress business at Arden B, where our additional investment in this category is yielding excellent results," said Susan McGalla, CEO of Wet Seal.

Meanwhile, Wet Seal has altered its growth plans for the year. The company plans to open 30 new Wet Seal stores instead of its originally anticipated 60. The retailer expects to open four to six new Arden B shops. The amended plan is in line with last year's growth rate, according to the company.

Wet Seal currently operates 533 shops in 47 states and Puerto Rico, including 450 of the same name and 83 Arden B shops.

"As we assess the best venues for growth and focus our attention this year on improving productivity of our existing stores, we made the strategic decision to maintain our 2011 store growth plan consistent with 2010," said McGalla. "The Wet Seal growth plan is comprised of 22 mall-based stores and eight off-mall stores, through which we will continue to take advantage of excellent mall opportunities and also further assess our long term off-mall potential. We also plan to continue the modest growth begun at Arden B last year with single-digit openings in 2011."

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