If you were anything like my girlfriends and I in the late 90s and early 2000’s, shopping at Wet Seal was a rite of passage. But, as shopping malls decrease in popularity while online shopping has increased, brick and mortar stores have suffered the consequences.
Wet Seal now finds itself in this suffering as it was announced this week that the retailer will be closing all of its stores. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company notified employees within their Irvine, California headquarters that the office would be closing its doors.
Buyout did not save
With this, all of Wet Seal’s employees are now being laid off. This comes after 3,700 employees were let go in 2015 after the company filed for bankruptcy. It was acquired in April of 2015 by Versa Capital for $7.5 million; however, Versa could not raise funding or find a buyer for Wet Seal to continue.
During the first bankruptcy, 338 of their 511 stores closed before they filed for bankruptcy protection. A second bankruptcy has not recently been filed.
The latest closing trend
The closing of many once-popular stores within shopping malls has become a trend as less and less people spend their time and money at malls. We’ve seen department stores such as Sears and Macy’s struggle to stay in business, while other retailers continue to find themselves on the chopping block.