Swimwear exit impacts Victoria’s Secret sales in March

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L Brands, the owner of lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret, has recorded a decline in sales for March, driven by the decision to exit its swimwear business.

Like-for-like sales at Victoria’s Secret fell 13% in the five weeks to April 1, after falling 16% in February.

Overall, L Brands sales decreased 7% to $951m (£763m) in March, compared to net sales of $1.03bn in the same month last year.

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Like-for-like sales for the period fell 10%, although they were partly affected – by about two percentage points – by Easter falling later than usual.

L Brands said the exit of swimwear and apparel categories had a negative impact of seven percentage points and 10 percentage points to total company and Victoria’s Secret comparable sales, respectively.

“In April, we will focus on delivering new fashion in our bralettes and PINK Everywear collection,” Amy Preston, chief investor relations officer, said in a statement.

This time last year, L Brands CEO Les Wexner announced that he would reorganise Victoria’s Secret into three business units: Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, PINK and Victoria’s Secret Beauty, in a move to focus the business on its strongest categories and streamline the business.

The retailer has since scrapped its swimwear business and added a new activewear line, Victoria’s Sport.

It has also eliminated its iconic catalogue and moved away from coupons, instead using aggressive markdowns to attract customers to items like sports bras and bralettes.

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