Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands said it will close 250 of its stores across the United States and Canada.
The disclosure was made yesterday in L Brands’ quarterly report which saw net sales fall by more than US$1 billion.
L Brands recorded net sales of US$1.654 billion for the quarter ended May 2, down 37 per cent when compared to US$2.629 billion for the same period last year. Much of the fall-off can be attributed to the closure of most of its stores since March 17 due to the coronavirus.
Individually, Victoria’s Secret saw its sales plummet 46 per cent to US$821.5 million. However, the brand has seen its sales tumble for some time now.
The once-coveted lingerie and women’s wear brand, Victoria’s Secret will see 235 of its stores in the US shutter this year, along with three of its sister brand PINK’s. The other closures will be in Canada as many other large retailers continue to reel from the financial blow of the coronavirus.
In February, L Brands announced the sale of 55 per cent majority stake of the company to a private equity firm, Sycamore Partners, which fell through after Sycamore said Victoria’s Secret breached the terms of the purchase agreement.
Victoria’s Secret has struggled to retain relevance as online shopping grew and more inclusive brands have come to market. Criticisms that it has been “one-note” in its interpretation of sexy have seen its enviable pole position eroded by Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty and other competitors who have wider appeal.
Other once booming retailers have faced similar fates, forced to downsize, close stores or file for bankruptcy as the COVID-19 virus forced people out of malls and online, where few have managed to find success.