The closing of Wet Seals 171 stores would come just two years after the Irvine, Calif.-based chain closed two-thirds of its locations and laid off almost 3,700 workers, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Its goals then were to retrench, focusing on its best performing storefronts while bolstering its online site. Here in North Carolina, we are losing four stores across the state. The locations include Concord Mills , Carolina Place , Jacksonville Mall , and Crabtree Valley Mall With more than 3,000 workers on its payroll, Wet Seal had once been a retail star. Founded in Newport Beach, Calif., in 1962, it grew from a small swimwear destination to a popular, and profitable, store chain that mixed trendy, teen attire along with swimsuits. Wet Seal exported a California vibe to malls across the nation. But like many other retailers, Wet Seal struggled in recent years as consumers bypassed malls and chose to do their shopping online. The chain also dealt with heightened competition from a growing array of fast fashion giants, like Zara and H & M, who were making a play for the same fashion-fickle, youthful crowd.

http://www.wcnc.com/money/report-wet-seal-is-closing-all-stores/394499985

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