(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). Victoria’s Secret comparable store sales rose 5% for the four weeks ended March 2, 2013 compared to the four weeks ended February 25, 2013. Last year they rose 10% over the same four weeks in 2011. Victoria’s Secret Direct sales dropped 4% for the month, compared to a rise of 5% from 2011 to 2012. And at La Senza, the Canadian lingerie chain also owned by parent Limited Brands, Inc., sales for the month rose 5%.
Limited as a whole reported a comparable store sales increase of 3% in February, with net sales of $712.7 million for the four weeks ended March 2, 2013, compared to net sales of $653.9 million for the comparable four weeks in 2012. Sales at Bath & Body Works, another division, were flat for the month when compared with February, 2012.
Amie Preston, chief investor relations officer for Limited, in comments the accompanied the sales report, stated, “February began with a focus on Valentine’s Day. Mid-month, we transitioned our focus to both Dream Angels and Pink spring break essentials. At the close of the month, we launched our Fabulous Bra with a focus on its demi frame. The merchandise margin rate decreased versus last year driven by strong response to our CRM [customer relationship management] and gift with purchase offers and increased promotional activity versus last year.”
“March will begin with continued focus on our Fabulous collection and Pink’s spring break essentials,” she continued. “The themes will shift mid-month to our Very Sexy collection and Pink’s yoga leggings.”
At Victoria’s Secret Direct, “February sales were down 4%, driven by a reduction in clearance selling and a decline in the clothing category. The February merchandise margin rate was up significantly to last year,” concluded Preston.
As of the beginning of March, Limited reported it was operating 1,019 Victoria’s Secret stores in the U.S., 26 in Canada and 2 in the UK. In Canada it was operating 157 La Senza stores. The company was also operating 1,571 Bath & Body Works stores and 29 Henri Bendel stores.
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