NEW YORK — For troubled junior specialty retailer Wet Seal Inc., the winds of change are still howling.

This story first appeared in the January 16, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

To bolster Wet Seal stores, its largest division, the Foothill Ranch, Calif.-based firm named Elayne Masterson chief merchandising manager. It also said Roy Schiefner and Steve Horak have joined the unit as vice president of merchandising sourcing and vice president of planning and allocation, respectively.

Masterson, who has more than 20 years of specialty retail merchandising experience, has held senior roles at The Disney Store and The Limited. Since September, she has been serving as vice president of merchandise process planning for Wet Seal Inc.

Schiefner had worked for Levi Strauss USA and as a senior vice president for Calvin Klein. Since May, he has been consulting for Wet Seal on preproduction product development, sourcing and processes. Horak was most recently vice president of planning, allocation and inventory management at Guess Inc. and prior to that, worked in a similar capacity for Warner Bros. Studio Stores and Victoria’s Secret stores.

Other Wet Seal appointments include Mike Relich as senior vice president and chief information officer, and Pam O’Connor as senior vice president of human resources.

“These appointments further strengthen and support the existing management team within the Wet Seal division,” Peter Whitford, chief executive officer, said in a statement.

In reporting a 7.3 percent decline in December same-store sales, WS slashed its fourth-quarter outlook to a net loss ranging between 44 cents and 49 cents, from its previous forecast of a net loss of 16 cents to 20 cents. It also said it would record a pretax charge of $5.5 million, or about 12 cents a share, to write down the value of its Zutopia assets. Analysts had forecast a loss of 20 cents.

In August, WS named former Disney Store executive Allan Haims as president of Wet Seal Stores, succeeding Susan O’Toole. Designer Victor Alfaro was named senior vice president and creative director, succeeding Larry Parrella.

In addition, the company promoted Laura Nicholas to vice president of store operations for its Arden B. division. She previously oversaw store operations at Bisou Bisou and Bebe.

The company also announced it has established a satellite design office in Los Angeles to tap into the fashion talent there.