Another Beloved Teen Retailer Is Closing Its Doors

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Another beloved teen retailer bites the dust — this time, for real. After declaring bankruptcy in 2015, Wet Seal will be closing all of its remaining stores (about 171 total), the Wall Street Journal reports. The fashion brand had already closed over 300 stores before filing for bankruptcy in early 2015, according to Business Insider. But today, a memo was sent out to employees at Wet Seal HQ saying that it was pulling the plug on all operations, per the Wall Street Journal. And just like that, the mall just won't be as affordably sparkly as it once was. If three makes a trend, then 2017 really isn't looking great for retail. More fashion news:
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This story was originally published on January 16, 2015.

It’s been a rough couple of months for Wet Seal. Thanks to its well-publicized declining sales and angry employee notes-gone-viral, the teenage mall retailer’s dirty laundry has already been aired all over the Internet. And, it seems we've reached the bottom of the pile: Almost immediately after announcing that Wet Seal would close two-thirds of its stores, laying off 3,700 employees, Fortune reports the company has officially filed for bankruptcy. Sound familiar? It’s only been a few months since another youth retailer, the beloved ‘90s staple Delia’s, announced it was shuttering, marking a general decline in the teenage market. While experts point to intense competition from fast-fashion giants like Forever21 and H&M to explain these financial troubles, slower mall traffic is also to blame. Long gone are the days where teens would go to the mall after school to hang out — but judging from the massive success of Five Below and Brandy Melville, they’re not ditching brick-and-mortar entirely. Unless a company is willing to keep up with the cutthroat business of tracking fleeting teenage obsessions (like Five Below) — or can offer an aspirational lifestyle like Brandy Melville — it's going to have some problems. (Fortune)

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