Melanie B. Cox to Run Wet Seal


As of Thursday, August 13, 2015


Melanie B. Cox

After guiding The Wet Seal LLC through a tumultuous period, Ed Thomas announced he will leave the company on Aug. 10, his successor, Melanie B. Cox, a veteran retailer and Wet Seal board member, will succeed Thomas. The transition was immediate, and Cox is currently running the company, according to a Rivian Bell, a spokeswoman for the company.

Wet Seal, the Foothill Ranch, Calif.–based fast fashion retailer of clothing, footwear and accessories for young women, made a transition to operating as a private company in April, after doing business as a public company called The Wet Seal Inc. An affiliate of Philadelphia-headquartered Versa Capital Management LLC acquired the company in April after Wet Seal declared a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As of April, Wet Seal’s retail holdings included a fleet of 173 stores and an e-commerce site

Thomas did not reveal his future plans. However, he said that time was right for a change. “Now that the reorganization is behind us, I decided it’s the right time for me to step back after a grueling process and evaluate other opportunities, while being confident that Wet Seal is in Versa and Melanie’s able hands,” he said. Thomas had run Wet Seal since September 2014.

Cox forecast a smooth transition. “I’m looking forward to continuing Wet Seal’s renewal under Versa’s ownership. This is a brand I have known for decades, and where I spent some early years as a merchant and head of product development helping the business grow from a small 11 store chain in Southern California,” Cox said. “I have studied and worked with this demographic for the majority of my career, and I know this is a valuable retail brand. I am excited to collaborate with our Southern California management team, our store associates, and our customers across the country to achieve Wet Seal’s tremendous potential.”

Cox worked as a retail consultant since 2009. She served as president/chief executive officer for Scoop NYC and also worked as general merchandise manager for Urban Outfitters Inc.