SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Nikita Ivanov, Sean Houghton

News Feed Item

Clinton Group Commends Wet Seal for Focus, Financing and Future

NEW YORK, March 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Clinton Group, Inc. and its affiliates ("Clinton Group"), the owners of more than 7% of the outstanding common stock of The Wet Seal, Inc. ("Wet Seal")(NASDAQ: WTSL) sent a letter to the Chief Executive Officer of Wet Seal last night commending the Company for its recent actions, including its financing, in which Clinton Group was not involved.

"We believe Wet Seal is well positioned to emerge from the market-wide slowdown in teen apparel retailing significantly stronger than its competitors and better aligned with the teenage girl's shopping habits," said George E. Hall, Chief Executive Officer of Clinton Group. "With the financing announced yesterday, along with the recent Board changes, strategic moves on real estate and in the plus-sized market, and eCommerce and social media focus, Wet Seal is ahead of its competitors in executing on a fast-fashion, social-media centric retailing strategy that we believe is the wave off the future. We commend the management team for addressing the marketplace issues head on and for being proactive with this financing to ensure leadership for a long time to come."

The full text of the letter sent yesterday by the Clinton Group is below:

Clinton Group, Inc.

601 Lexington Avenue, 51st Floor

New York, NY 10022

 

March 20, 2014

Mr. John Goodman 
Chief Executive Officer 
The Wet Seal, Inc. 
26972 Burbank 
Foothill Ranch, CA 92610

RE:      Progress at Wet Seal

Dear Mr. Goodman:

I write on behalf of Clinton Group, Inc. and its various affiliates and associates ("Clinton Group"), which together own more than 7% of the outstanding stock of The Wet Seal, Inc. ("Wet Seal" or the "Company").

In light of today's earnings release, the announcement of strategic priorities, recent changes to the Board of Directors and the announcement of the Company's financing transaction, we write to commend you and the management team for taking the right steps in a very difficult macro environment for apparel retailers focused on teen clothing.

Although the recent results have not been laudable, we know they are primarily driven by market forces beyond the Company's control and that those forces will reverse in due course. Results among the mall-based peers have been weak, and in most cases worse. We also have taken note that most of your competitors are trying to move into the "fast-fashion" business, where the Company has long operated and has significant advantages, proprietary processes and seasoned infrastructure.

As Wet Seal's competitors aim to be more like Wet Seal, we know that Wet Seal itself continues to evolve and remain ahead of the pack. Indeed, we believe you have made many smart moves in last fifteen months -- improving merchandising, store operations, real estate strategy, technology, loyalty programs and the use of social media -- that will keep you ahead of the competition even as they attempt to emulate the Wet Seal fast fashion model.

Despite these many improvements in the Company's foundation and infrastructure, and the positioning of the Company in the "fast fashion" sector where all other teen retailers wish to be, the stock is down significantly since the summer of 2013. The price decline is unwarranted and will likely reverse sharply once the macro environment improves.

The $27 million financing announced tonight will surely give confidence to even the most skeptical supplier and positions the Company to expand aggressively its plus-sized business and its eCommerce and social media operations, further ensuring the Company is one of the market leaders on the other side of this market trough. With capital in hand, and a plan to expand the Company's market positioning, technology and social media marketing (with the help of the three new experienced Board members), we are confident in the Company's direction, capabilities and future.

Wet Seal stands ready to monetize the convergence of social media and eCommerce, and to extend its strategy profitably beyond the traditional mall-based retailing of its past. We are pleased with the steps management has made to address an altering landscape, including the building of outlet stores with a significant return on capital, an increased focus on plus-sized clothing and rationalizing stores in underperforming malls.

With some additional spending by teenage girls, which is inevitable, the Company will emerge from this market downturn stronger and better than it was when the stock was at $5.

While the immediate past performance has been disappointing, we commend you and the Board for facing the issues head-on and working proactively to position the Company well for the future.

We look forward to working with you constructively to ensure a bright future for Wet Seal and all its shareholders.

Sincerely,

//s//

George E. Hall

Chief Executive Officer

About Clinton Group,Inc.

Clinton Group, Inc. is a diversified asset management firm that is a Registered Investment Advisor. The firm has been investing in global markets since its inception in 1991 with expertise that spans a wide range of investment styles and asset classes.

 

SOURCE Clinton Group, Inc.

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
In her General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing, at Verizon Enterprise, focused on finding the right mix of renting vs. buying Oracle capacity to scale to meet business demands, and offer validated Oracle database TCO models for Oracle development and testing environments. Anne Plese is a marketing and technology enthusiast/realist with over 19+ years in high tech. At Verizon Enterprise, she focuses on driving growth for the Verizon Cloud platfo...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrateg...
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
There's Big Data, then there's really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, discussed how IoT, Big D...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Gridstore™, the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built to optimize Microsoft workloads, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Gridstore™ is the leader in hyper-converged infrastructure purpose-built for Microsoft workloads and designed to accelerate applications in virtualized environments. Gridstore’s hyper-converged infrastructure is the ...
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective ...
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using ...
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.