The Associated Press March 4, 2010, 7:29AM ET

Wet Seal Feb. sales comparison rises

The Wet Seal Inc., which sells teen clothes and accessories, said Thursday that sales in stores open at least a year rose 4.7 percent in February, helped by better results at its Arden B chain. Analysts had been expecting a decline.

Total sales for the four-week period ending Feb. 27 rose 7.4 percent to $42.7 million.

Sales in stores open at least one year rose 3.4 percent at teen-focused Wet Seal and 12.4 percent at Arden B, which is focused on young adults.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, on average, expected overall sales in stores open at least a year to fall 2.9 percent.

Sales at stores open at least a year are a key measure of retailer performance because they measure growth at existing stores rather than from newly opened ones.

Arden B results were helped by lower inventory and a lower-priced strategy the company began at the beginning of last year, CEO Ed Thomas said.

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