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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS | ORANGE COUNTY EARNINGS

Wet Seal's Income Falls on Slow Sales

August 16, 2000

Specialty retailer Wet Seal Inc., which has been struggling since last summer after misjudging the apparel desires of its young female customers, posted a sharp decline in net income for the second quarter on lackluster sales.

Wet Seal earned $461,000, or 4 cents a share, down from $3.7 million, or 29 cents a share, for the second quarter last year. Sales for the quarter ended July 29 increased 1% to $128.2 million, while sales in stores open for at least a year decreased 3%.

The company issued a warning last month that earnings would range from 3 to 7 cents a share for the three months, far below analysts' expectations.

The Foothill Ranch company also announced two executive appointments.

Steven Strickland has been hired as senior vice president of creative and marketing.

He most recently was vice president of marketing at Brookstone Inc. Before that, he was a vice president for Women's Specialty Retail, a division of U.S. Shoe, and held positions with Limited Inc. and Burdine's.

Industry veteran Stephen Cox has been hired to the newly created position of general merchandise manager for its Wet Seal and Contempo Casuals chains.

Cox, who also was named senior vice president of Wet Seal, has been with Limited Express for eight years, most recently as merchandise manager of denim and sweaters. Before that, he was with I. Magnin, The Gap, Robinson's and Bullocks.

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