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Wet Seal just announced that it will be shutting down 338 stores nationwide. The closings account for over 60% of its entire store fleet, fueling speculation from an earlier report that Wet Seal may be the next teen retailer to declare bankruptcy. 3,695 full and part-time Wet Seal employees are now out of a job and the company is down to 173 stores, plus a website.
"This was a very difficult decision to make, but after reviewing many other options since I returned to the company in September, our financial condition leaves us no other alternative than to close these stores," Wet Seal's CEO stated in the press release. "This is an extremely difficult time for the entire Wet Seal team, and we are doing everything we can to protect the interests of all of our stakeholders, including our employees. We acknowledge and sympathize with how hard these recent events have been on our employees, both those staying with the company and especially those who are leaving the company this week."
However, some employees have already publicly complained about how the company is handling the layoffs. A #boycottwetseal movement originating from a shuttering Seattle store swept Twitter, with former employees arguing that they were given no advance notice on the layoffs and weren't able to collect on unused vacation and sick days.
· Angry Wet Seal Employees in Seattle Stage a Boycott [Racked]
· Wet Seal May Be the Next Teen Retailer to Declare Bankruptcy [Racked]