Wet Seal Mulling Bankruptcy

Wet Seal may be taking the plunge into bankruptcy — again. Bloomberg reported that the mall retailer is considering bankruptcy, but also a sale, in the wake of struggles to right itself.

The newswire cited unnamed sources familiar with the strategic considerations. A decision could come within the next several days, those sources told Bloomberg, who noted that Wet Seal would prefer an out-of-court deal.

In a series of steps to turn around operations, Wet Seal had closed hundreds of stores, yet had been bedeviled by slowing foot traffic seen across malls nationwide. At present, the firm has 171 locations across 42 states.

A bankruptcy would mark the second in two years for Wet Seal, and in its previous filing, it had sold assets to Versa in an agreement that also gave the firm $7.5 million in cash. That deal was struck after Versa’s Mador Lending gave Wet Seal $20 million in replacement bankruptcy funding and assumed a number of liabilities.

The roster of other firms that have gone the route of bankruptcy through the past few years has included American Apparel, Limited Stores and Sports Authority, in addition to RadioShack. Other firms that closed significant numbers of stores in 2016 included Aéropostale.


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