(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Victoria’s Secret plans, in 2015, to open “approximately 26 net new Victoria’s Secret stores (21 in the U.S. and five in Canada) and expand some existing stores, for a total net gain in square footages of about 5%. Additional expansion is planned around the world.
As of the end of 2014 there were about 1,098 Victoria’s Secret and Pink stores in the U.S. and about 41 in Canada.
Parent company L Brands, in its 2014 annual report, announced plans to open four additional Victoria’s Secret stores in the UK, raising the total to 14. In the Middle East, the company’s partners plan to open “eight to 10” lingerie stores, including two Pink stores, added to 14 stores already open there under the two brand names. Last year, other partners opened “92 net new Victoria’s Secret Beauty and Accessories stores, bringing the total to 290,” and L said an additional 120 of the stores, “located in local markets, airports and tourist destinations,” are planned for 2015. These stores sell only a limited amount of lingerie.
As previously reported, Victoria’s Secret net sales in 2014 “increased $323 million to $7.207 billion, and comparable store sales increased 3%.” At Victoria’s Secret Stores, “net sales increased 6% due to the performance in PINK, core lingerie and sport driven by a compelling merchandise assortment that incorporated newness, innovation and fashion, as well as in-store execution. These results were partially offset by a decrease in beauty driven by the exit of the make-up category.” Meanwhile, at “Victoria’s Secret Direct, net sales were roughly flat due to the decrease in non go-forward apparel offset by increases in PINK, core lingerie, go-forward apparel, sport and beauty.”
As of January 31, 2015, L Brands said partners operated 266 La Senza lingerie stores in 29 countries. But it also reported that net sales and gross profit both decreased at those La Senza stores it itself operates in North America (about 145 at the end of 2014). “The gross profit rate decrease was primarily driven by a decrease in the merchandise margin rate at La Senza, partially offset by a decrease in the buying and occupancy expense rate.”
In addition to its lingerie shops, L Brands operates the Bath & Body Works chain and the Henri Bendel stores. In its annual report it disclosed a significant drop in the number of suppliers from which it buys. “During 2014, we purchased merchandise from approximately 700 suppliers located throughout the world. No supplier provided 10% or more of our merchandise purchases.” In its 2013 annual report it had said it purchased from about 900 suppliers.
Though it remains a key to Victoria’s Secret’s success, the word “catalogue” appears only twice in the 2014 L Brands annual report. “Advertising and catalogue costs totaled $436 million for 2014, $452 million for 2013 and $460 million for 2012.” The modest decrease in costs would tend to indicate Victoria’s Secret is mailing somewhat fewer, though still a substantial, number of catalogs. But while Wikipedia currently says the store sends out “375 million a year,” Victoria’s Secret has been reticent to reveal the number in recent years. That is because, starting in 2004, environmental groups began criticizing the company, to great media attention, for the number of trees destroyed in making the paper to print the catalogs.
The annual report notes that sales per “average selling square foot” in Victoria’s Secret stores rose from $824 in 2013 to $836 in 2014. Sales per average store rose to $5.061 million from $4.969 million during the same period.
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