RELEASE: OCP Urges Public to Redeem Wet Seal Gift Cards

Posted on Feb 10, 2017 in Consumer, Main, News Releases, OCP

 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS

OFFICE OF CONSUMER PROTECTION

DAVID Y. IGE

GOVERNOR

CATHERINE P. AWAKUNI COLÓN

DIRECTOR

STEPHEN H. LEVINS

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF CONSUMER PROTECTION

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 10, 2017

Office of Consumer Protection Urges Public to Redeem Wet Seal Gift Cards

Wet Seal files for bankruptcy and for authorization to close its retail stores; consumers should use gift cards as soon as possible

 The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) is urging Hawaii consumers who may be holding gift cards, certificates or store credits from Wet Seal to use them as soon as possible.

Wet Seal operates from two stores in Hawaii, located in Aiea at Pearlridge Center, and in Kahului at the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center.  The Kahului store has reported that it plans to close its doors this Sunday, February 12.  No closing date has been announced for the Aiea store.  Both stores have stopped accepting the return of purchased merchandise, and are operating on an “all sales final” basis.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware on February 2 of this year, and is seeking to close its retail stores.  This is the latest in an apparent growing trend of bankruptcy filings by big name retail stores, following the earlier bankruptcy filings by Sports Authority, Aeropostale, and Limited Stores.

“An important guideline with gift cards is to use them as soon as you can, because a store may close or go bankrupt with very little notice.  We see that here.  This large company just filed bankruptcy, and the Kahului store is already set to close just ten days later.  That means consumers must act fast,” said OCP Executive Director Stephen Levins.

“There may be little to no recourse for a consumer to recover an unspent balance.  If you currently have a Wet Seal gift card, you should try to use it immediately in order to avoid losing whatever credit remains.”

# # #

Media Contact:

William Nhieu

Communications Officer

Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs

Email:  wnhieu@dcca.hawaii.gov

Phone: (808) 586-7582

Cell:    (808) 389-2788