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RETAILING : Wet Seal Has Plenty to Bark About With $45 Million in Sales, a 45% Rise

Compiled by Mary Ann Galante, Times staff writer

Wet Seal, a sportswear chain for juniors, said its sales reached $45 million last year, up 45% from 1987. The private, Irvine-based firm, which caters to women 14 to 25 years old, does not divulge its earnings.

The chain was bought almost 5 years ago by Suzy Shier, the Canadian retail chain, which wanted to expand into Southern California. Suzy Shier became the majority owner; Ken Chilvers, company president, bought a minority interest.

At the time, the chain had annual sales of $4.8 million from 17 stores. Today, Wet Seal has 59 stores, including one in Phoenix.

Chilvers said the company plans to continue expanding this year. “We will open at least 18 more stores and are considering several additional sites,” he said.

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