As teen-apparel retailer Wet Seal stumbles to its finish line, its former employees have taken to social media to complain about their treatment in recent days.
A handwritten poster — complaining that workers were stiffed on what should have been paid vacation time, were given just a day’s notice of losing their jobs, and weren’t allowed to consider jobs at still-open stores — was posted on a shuttered Seattle Wet Seal store, and a photo of it went viral.
Reaction online has been swift and fierce against the company, with hashtags like #ForgetWetSeal and #BoycottWetSeal appearing on social media sites. Wet Seal has had no comment.
Many consumers these days, including and perhaps especially younger consumers, are impatient with what they see as inappropriate conduct on the part of companies. Wet Seal is drawing shoppers’ ire for the way it’s handling the scale-down that may eventually lead to the brand’s final demise. It doesn’t help that top executives were recently given generous pay raises, either.
As retailers, especially apparel retailers that are working hard to win back younger customers, look to freshen up their brands, how their workers are treated may be important to that effort. Put it this way: people are paying attention.