Wet Seal Announces Job Cuts

The Wet Seal Inc. announced on Oct. 14 that it would eliminate 78 jobs as part of the beleaguered retailer’s cost-savings plan.

A Wet Seal statement noted that 66 of the eliminated positions were in the retailer’s Foothill Ranch, Calif.–based headquarters and 12 positions were at the company’s field management level.

The retailer expects to save $5.7 million at the beginning of the 2014 fourth quarter due to the job cuts and $1.3 million in annualized cost savings from the cuts, which, a statement said, was focused on the retailer’s distribution center. Wet Seal expects to be liable for $0.6 million in one-time severance charges in the third quarter of this year due to the cuts, said Ed Thomas, Wet Seal’s chief executive officer.

“We have quickly begun to develop an action plan to stabilize the business, restore Wet Seal to profitable growth and create long-term value for our shareholders. While always a difficult decision to make, aligning our workforce to our current needs was one of the first steps in this process. I want to thank the affected employees for their dedication to Wet Seal during their tenure and wish them the best in their future endeavors,” Thomas said.

Earlier this month, Steve Benrubi, Wet Seal’s longtime chief financial officer, resigned. In September, John D. Goodman, Wet Seal’s CEO, was fired. As part of his severance package, he received $819,000 in cash.