(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). While Victoria’s Secret North American comparable store sales for May rose 2%, and Victoria’s Secret direct sales declined 10%, parent company L Brands reported a company-wide net sales increase of 4%.
Overall comparable store sales for the company, which also includes Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel, increased “3% for the four weeks ended May 31, 2014,” implying the non-lingerie portions of the business did better during the month.
L Brands reported net sales for the last four weeks in May rose to $763.6 million “compared to net sales of $737.0 million for the four weeks ended June 1, 2013.” In addition, “The company reported net sales of $3.155 billion for the 17 weeks ended May 31, 2014, an increase of 5% compared to net sales of $3.005 billion for the 17 weeks ended June 1, 2013. Comparable stores sales increased 2% for the 17 weeks ended May 31, 2014.”
In explaining the results, Amie Preston, chief investor relations, said “Victoria’s Secret stores North America May comparable store sales increased 2% driven by lingerie and Pink. May began with a focus on our Heavenly Fragrance for Mother’s Day. Post Mother’s Day we transitioned to focus on our Incredible Bra.” At VS, “The merchandise margin rate increased to last year, driven by lower overall promotional activity. Favorable non-selling expenses also contributed to margin rate improvement. June will begin with a focus on our sport assortment and we will transition to our semi-annual sale mid-month.”
“At Victoria’s Secret Direct, May sales were down 10%, driven by a decline in non-go-forward apparel merchandise of over 30%. Go-forward core categories declined low single digit in May on lower promotional activity. The May merchandise margin rate was down to last year, driven by increased promotional in apparel.”
She added that “we expect a low single digit comp increase for the total company in June.”
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