Wet Seal, Sears Announce Job Cuts

Pink slips might be sent to a lot of people at The Wet Seal LLC.

Irvine, Calif.–based retail chain notified the State of California’s Employment Development Department Jan. 23 that it would cut 148 jobs.

A representative for Wet Seal’s owner, Versa Capital Management, declined to comment on the job cuts. A call to Wet Seal was not returned by press time. The news comes at a time of turmoil for Wet Seal. Media reports have been roiling with rumors of a second bankruptcy for the mall-based retailer with a fleet of 171 stores.

In 2015, Wet Seal filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. An affiliate of Versa Capital acquired Wet Seal’s assets. A few months after the deal was wrapped up, Melanie Cox was named chief executive officer of the retailer. Her campaign to turn around the company has included refreshing Wet Seal’s fashion style and rolling out a number of holiday pop-up shops in 2016.

Sears Holdings also notified the EDD earlier this month that it would cut 80 jobs in Santa Monica, Calif. A Sears representative confirmed that the Sears location at 302 Colorado Ave. in Santa Monica and its Sears Auto Center department is scheduled to close in mid-April. The store started its liquidation sale on Jan. 27.

Sears’ Santa Monica location was sold to Seritage Growth Partners, a New York–based REIT in 2015. Since then, Sears leased the space from Seritage. Recently, Seritage informed Sears that wanted to take possession of the space.