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Wet Seal plunges into strategic review


Wet Seal has hired an investment banker and a senior adviser to analyze potential financial alternatives for the struggling retailer.

The company said it has hired investment bank Houlihan Lokey and former Tilly's Inc. executive William Langsdorf to aid in a strategic review. Wet Seal said it has not set a deadline for completion of the process and that “there can be no assurance that the exploration of the potential alternatives will result in a transaction.”

However, Wet Seal CEO Ed Thomas said: "I'm proud of the progress we have made to date in light of the ongoing difficult macro environment and state of affairs at the company. Given Wet Seal's struggles and challenges, it is prudent for us to continue the review of alternatives. We welcome the addition of these advisers to our team."

The retailer's last reported results for the second quarter showed that same store sales declined 12.4%. Wet Seal and other teen retailers have struggled to compete with fast-fashion outlets such as Forever 21, Zara and H&M. Wet Seal operates 528 stores in 47 states and Puerto Rico.

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