Wet Seal Store Company operates more than 400 shops in the USA and Puerto Rico. This number was reduced from 650 shops the company had in 2003.The company sells moderately priced casual clothes and related accessories. The majority of the shops owned by Wet Seal are situated in malls and view junior females (aged 16-20 years). The most well known brand of Wet Seal called Arden B. chain store is present in over 90 different malls across the land. Arden B. targets females aged 18-40. The majority of stores are located in California, Texas and Florida. In 2004, Wet Seal shut down one of its subsidiaries called Zutopia, which was previously acquired from Gymboree in 2001. Contempo stores which also were previously owned by Wet Seal would also be dismantled. Currently, Wet Seal concentrates primarily on Arden B. which proves to be the most profitable and lucrative branches of Wet Seal.
The reason why Wet Seal is back on track is because of the market niche it occupies. Wet Seal provides its customers (young females) with fashion at affordable prices, something that this market group values the most. Wet Seal through its Arden B. brand in a creative, and dedicated manner had established its presence in the USA to compete with companies like Gap, Forever 21, and American Eagle Outfitters (Wojak, 108).
To get back on track, Wet Seal would implement continuous inventory assessment and update system. Wet Seal, therefore, gained recognition of the most fashionable company. Since the fashion industry trends change on a daily basis, Wet Seal continuously hires new innovative specialists not only for fashion design but also for management, marketing and new business development.
The company is headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California and hosts under one-roof different brands to satisfy the demands of the market. To remain responsive to the market needs, the company would institute an employee rotation system, where people after working for 6 months or one year at one department are assigned to projects at other departments, oftentimes at different brands that Wet Seal hosts.
- Trend (are they on trend for color, fabric, themes, etc). Wet Seal currently works on novel female outfit and focuses on comfortable yet at the same time fashionable wear. The allow maximum comfort, Wet Seal works primarily with natural fabrics like cotton and silk and strives to develop pants, skirts, shorts, t-shirts, and other types of clothing for its clientele. The most recent colors are pink, orange, and navy blue. The themes, that Wet Seal focuses on are feminine attractiveness and elegance without blatant themes of sexuality that competitors like Forever 21 or American Eagle Outfitters concentrate on in their collections (Burns, 67).
- Pricing. Wet Seal historically would focus on affordability of all its clothes and accessories. Wet Seal still features clothes of different prices and presents those to satisfy just about any pocket. The clothes created by Wet Seal are roughly 20% cheaper than similar clothes produced by Forever 21, Gap or American Eagle Outfitters (Brunson-Sarrabo, 120).
- Quality. Just like any company in the USA, Wet Seal understands that US customers treasure quality above all in products they buy. It is for this reason Wet Seal assures that all the products created by Wet Seal are of top quality. The company constantly strives to improve the quality and utilizes the ISO 9001 quality standards in its production.
- Fit. Comfortable fit is what Wet Seal finds the most important thing in all its products. One can argue whether or not Wet Seal puts comfortable fit before fashion or not. Still, all the fashionable clothes sold under the brand name of Wet Seal, are made from natural fabrics and are designed to provide the most comfort (Gehlhar, 233).
In conclusion, I would like to note that Wet Seal is back on track with its Arden B. brand on which most corporate resources are focused. The company manages to effectively adhere to the demands for quality clothing in the USA and Puerto Rico providing it at most affordable prices. The quality of clothes is very high while a major emphasis was placed on comfortable wear. The company appears to be deemed to success and its concentration on Arden B. will assure that Wet Seal will keep track of different fashion innovations and implement them immediately to satisfy the market demand.
Official website of Wet Seal, http://www.wetseal.com/, Accessed: May 19, 2006.
Burns, Leslie, The Business of Fashion: Designing, Manufacturing, and Marketing, Prentice Hall.
Brunson-Sarrabo, Yolanda, The Ins and Outs of the Fashion Industry-From a Fashion Insider, NY Random House, 2004.
Wojak, Angelina, Career Opportunities in the Fashion Industry (Career Opportunities), Wiley and sons press, 2003.
Gehlhar, Mary, The Fashion Designer Survival Guide: An Insider’s Look at Starting and Running Your Own Fashion Business, Barrons books, 2004.
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