(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Victoria’s Secret and Pink North American and U.K. comparable company-owned store sales rose 4% in November. When the direct business is added in for those areas, the increase was 5%.
Amie Preston, chief investor relations for parent company L Brands, explained that “Strength across core lingerie, Pink and beauty was partially offset by a decline related to the exit of non go-forward swim and apparel,” strategic moves the company recently initiated. “Comparable sales excluding the non go-forward categories were up 8% to last year,” she added, referring to the combined results.
“The merchandise margin rate was down significantly to last year, primarily due to promotional events to drive trial in key categories and proactively manage inventory. In addition, margin rate was unfavorably impacted by a decline in beauty as we reposition this category.”
L Brands also includes Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel, with 3,085 company-owned specialty stores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Greater China. Its brands are also sold in more than 700 additional franchised locations worldwide.
The company as a whole reported “net sales of $1.246 billion for the four weeks ended November 26, 2016, an increase of 7 percent, compared to net sales of $1.169 billion for the four weeks ended November 28, 2015. Comparable sales increased 4 percent for the four weeks ended November 26, 2016. The company reported net sales of $9.331 billion for the 43 weeks ended November 26, 2016, an increase of 5 percent compared to net sales of $8.928 billion for the 43 weeks ended November 28, 2015. Comparable sales increased 3 percent for the 43 weeks ended November 26, 2016.”
Preston noted that at the lingerie stores, “December will focus on our Dream Angels collection and holiday apparel in the Pink business. We are also excited for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show which will air on December 5th.”
She added that “In closing, we expect comps for the total company in December to be flat to up low single digits.”
Since January 30, L Brands has opened two Victoria’s Secret stores in the U.K., raising its total there to 14 as of November 28th. In the U.S. it has opened 17 Victoria’s Secret stores and closed six, raising the total to 1,001; opened six Pink shops and closed one, raising the total to 133; and opened its first four La Senza shops. In Canada, during the same period, the company has closed on La Senza shop, dropping the total to 125, while at the same time maintaining 37 Victoria’s Secret and nine Pink shops. In China L Brands acquired 26 Victoria’s Secret Beauty and Accessories shops (originally operated by partners), and subsequently opened six more and closed one, bringing the total to 31. — NM
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