It’s like when you went to your reunion and you ran into that basket case acquaintance that never seemed to get her life together, hair always tangled, clothes disorderly, and make up disheveled, and then here you stand before her and you are unable to hold back the sound of surprise in your voice when you involuntarily shout out, “damn girl, you look good!”
While in Houston I ran across a Wet Seal in three of the five malls I was able to visit in my time. I’m approaching the two year anniversary of my blog this upcoming January, and my first ever blog post was on the bankruptcy filed by Wet Seal which can be found on my Tumblr. Deciding I wanted a more personal layout I turned to worpress, and posted my second blog, a follow up to the Wet Seal Tumblr Post that addressed handling lay offs. My purpose was to show the world how much the brick and mortar is suffering, and the importance it holds to our community. I wanted to bring comfort to those masses facing lay offs, though being a young blog my reach was not quite as wide as it is today.
Despite the hope I spoke, I never thought in a million years that I would run across a Wet Seal again, especially not two years later. The Wet Seal sustainment and slow growth is thanks in most part to their newest CEO Melanie Cox, who had followed a line of three failed CEO’s before her. With her money management, and vision she has surpassed any and all expectations any outsider held for this flailing retailer.
She wants an image that’s not the tacky 80’s that so many teen retailers are flocking to. She wants sophisticated and sexy.
“We’re going to do the club line, we’re going to do sexy, edgy,’ and it was being interpreted in this really bad ‘80s, slutty, cheesy way. I’m not kidding.” -Melanie Cox
From the inside out Cox is reinvigorating the Wet Seal team so to cure the obvious post Chapter 11 burn out blues. She started with corporate office, then focused on the brand. The employees needed to be reinvigorated and the customers needed to know something new was coming. Then she honed in on the product, the vision of the line. She sent a few test items to the store with no real push or heads up, and the selections flew from the shelf, and she knew she was heading the right direction.
She wants clothes that are less party, more day to day. Clothes that are comfortable and not club wear disposable. She wants to fit the petite and the girls with curves. She wants to branch out much on e-commerce right now, and her biggest struggle will be that of “out of sight out of mind”. There will need to be a huge marketing push to remind shoppers that they are still open and encourage them to use their upcoming new app.
So though you don’t see the stores popping up all over the place, there is an explosion of life back in the company. And this holiday season you will see 13 pop up locations strictly at GGP malls.
This is not a come back about college girl fashion, this is a come back about hope with so many stores facing similar fates over the past few years.