(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Victoria’s Secret and Pink brick and mortar comparable store sales in the U.S., Canada, China and the U.K. fell 23% in November and December.
In another measure of performance, parent company L Brands reported that combined store and direct comp sales for the two lingerie brands in the U.S. and Canada were down only 9% in the two months. The intimates sector benefited from a “24 percent sales growth in the direct channel.”
(L Brands last year announced a deal to sell 51% of its Victoria’s Secret and Pink business in the UK and Ireland to Next PLC, while it retained a 49% stake. There are 21 Victoria’s Secret and five Pink stores in those countries).
Overall, L Brands, which also owns Bath & Body Works, “reported net sales of $3.836 billion for the nine weeks ended January 2, 2021, compared to net sales of $3.906 billion for the nine weeks ended January 4, 2020. Comparable sales increased 5 percent for the nine weeks ended January 2, 2021, compared to the nine weeks ended January 4, 2020.”
“At Bath & Body Works, comparable sales increased 17 percent for the nine weeks ended January 2, 2021, including a comparable sales increase of 5 percent in stores and 64 percent sales growth in the direct channel. The merchandise margin rate for the quarter-to-date period increased significantly.”
“The company currently expects to report fourth quarter earnings per share between $2.70 and $2.80.”
VS ad Bath & Body Works CEO Andrew Meslow declared, “We are very pleased with our holiday results, which significantly exceeded our initial expectations, driven by an increase in profitability at both Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret. In this challenging environment, we maintained our focus on customer and associate safety and delivered exceptional execution. Bath & Body Works continues to deliver record results, demonstrating the strength of the brand. The turnaround at Victoria’s Secret also continues to gain momentum, driven by an improved merchandise assortment and focused execution of retail fundamentals and our profit improvement plan.”
L Brands revealed that between February 1, 2020 and January 2, 2021 it had opened 19 and closed 223 Victoria’s Secret stores in the U.S., dropping the total to 705, while in Canada it closed 10 shops, dropping the total there to 23.
Meanwhile, the company opened two Pink shops in the U.S. and closed three, dropping the total to 143; while in Canada it closed three locations dropping the total there to two.
In China, Victoria’s Secret opened four and closed one company owned stores, raising the total to 26. It also opened one and closed six company-owned Victoria’s Secret Beauty and Accessories stores (most or all of which are in China) dropping the total to 36. — NM
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