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Wet Seal Names President at Zutopia

NEW YORK — The Wet Seal named Jennifer Pritchard president of its new Zutopia division and has landed its first Manhattan location for its Arden B. division.<br><br>Arden B. targets contemporary customers and Zutopia sells to tweens. The bulk of...

NEW YORK — The Wet Seal named Jennifer Pritchard president of its new Zutopia division and has landed its first Manhattan location for its Arden B. division.

Arden B. targets contemporary customers and Zutopia sells to tweens. The bulk of the corporation’s stores are Wet Seal units catering to juniors.

The Arden B. store in Manhattan will be at 1130 Third Avenue, on the northwest corner of 66th Street, and is expected to open some time before Thanksgiving. The company currently operates 91 Arden B. stores.

“We are looking at several other locations for Arden B. in Manhattan,” said Walter Parks, executive vice president of operations for Wet Seal, although no sites are set yet.

According to real estate firm Robert K. Futterman & Associates LLC, for the Third Avenue site, Arden B. has a 12-year lease for 3,800 square feet on the ground floor and 1,600 square feet of basement space in a residential building.

“This is the perfect location for Arden B.’s New York City flagship,” said Futterman’s managing director Karen Bellantoni, who, along with chief executive Robert Futterman handled negotiations on behalf of the retailer. “Prime uptown corner locations are hard to come by.” The space was occupied by Country Road Australia, which has gone out of business in the U.S.

At Zutopia, Pritchard succeeds Susan O’Toole, who last August was named president of the Wet Seal division, the company’s largest chain. Most recently, Pritchard ran the U.S. operations for TEX 38, a California marketing group for Asian-based manufacturers. Before that, she was a general merchandise manager for Urban Outfitters and a divisional merchandise manager for tops at The Limited Inc. Pritchard will report to Kathy Bronstein, vice chairman and chief executive of the company.

Wet Seal operates 588 stores, of which about 440 are called Wet Seal and about two dozen are under the Contempo Casual nameplate. Both stores cater to juniors. There are also 30 Zutopia units, as well as the Arden B. stores.