L Brands Inc. has reported plans to close approximately 250 of the Victoria’s Secret lingerie stores and about 50 of its Bath & Body Works stores in North America. In Canada, 13 of the 38 Victoria’s Secret and two Victoria Secret’s Pink stores will close. Last week, the international company that operates about 2897 company-owned stores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and China along with about 700 franchised locations worldwide, reported net sales of $1.654-billion(US) for its first quarter that ended in early May 2020. The compares to first quarter 2019 sales of $2.629-billion(US), drop of about 37 percent. Almost all of the stores have been temporarily closed since mid-March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Comparable store sales at Victoria’s Secret were down 13 percent while comparable sales at Bath & Body Works were up 41 percent, partially due to a demand for soaps and sanitizers. In addition, in early May, L Brands reported that the previously announced agreement to sell a majority to private equity firm Sycamore Partners was terminated. As part of the company’s go-forward strategy, it remains committed to establishing Bath & Body Works as a pure-play public company and is taking the necessary steps to prepare the Victoria’s Secret businesses to operate as a separate, standalone company. Leslie Wexner has stepped down as CEO and Chairman of the Board of L Brands. Andrew Meslow, CEO of Bath & Body Works, becomes CEO of L Brands.
L Brands Inc., Three Limited Pkwy., Columbus, Ohio 43230 (614/415-7000 www.lb.com)