Victoria’s Secret announces plans to shutter 20 stores this year
As Victoria’s Secret’s sales continue to flounder, parent company L Brands, Inc. revealed that it will be closing 20 of the lingerie retailer’s locations this year in a conference call with investors on Thursday.
Among the 20 are six Victoria’s Secret stores which were already closed earlier this year, but L Brands has not specified which other locations are set to shut their doors definitively over the course of the next few months. Plans also exist to open three new stores this year.
The announcement was made by L Brands CFO Stuart Burgdoerfer following the release of the company’s second-quarter results on Wednesday, which revealed a 1% fall in Victoria’s Secret’s same-store sales.
This decrease is very much in line with the brand’s performance in recent months as it has struggled to keep up with its competitors and adapt to the changing tastes of consumers who now prefer simpler, more affordable products.
Victoria’s Secret’s consistently stagnant sales even prompted Randal Konik, an analyst at NYC-based financial services firm Jefferies, to predict that it was “game over” for the brand in July.
L Brands also announced on Wednesday that Denise Landman, CEO of Victoria’s Secret Pink, will be stepping down at the end of this year. The Pink brand, which previously served as something of a lifebuoy for Victoria’s Secret, has also been struggling recently.
Landman will be replaced by Amy Hauk, who currently serves as president for merchandising and product development at L Brands-owned Bath & Body Works.
Konik, however, is skeptical about the appointment, stating, “We question whether an exec without apparel expertise is the right person to lead Pink at a time when merchandise and brand issues need to be corrected,” in a note written to investors on Thursday and cited by Business Insider.
Taking into account the six stores already closed this year, Victoria's Secret currently runs 1,165 locations, including Pink stores, in North America.
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