Ed Thomas

Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.

The downfall of Wet Seal took another step forward Wednesday when the retailer announced it will shutter 338 stores. The store closings bring the termination of around 3,695 full- and part-time employees. After the closures, Wet Seal will have just 173 stores remaining, along with its online business. "This was a very difficult decision to make, but after reviewing many other options since I returned to the company in September, our financial condition leaves us no other alternative than to close these stores," CEO Ed Thomas said in a statement. 

Clothing store chain The Wet Seal Inc. has hired fashion retail veteran Susan P. McGalla as CEO with a contract that runs through 2014. McGalla joins the company on Jan. 18, taking over from interim CEO Ed Thomas.

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