Victoria’s Secret holiday comps drop 9%
L Brands, the Columbus, Ohio-based owner of Victoria’s Secret, announced a 1.8% decrease in net sales over the holiday period, as comps at the lingerie brand slipped 9%.
The company’s total net sales for the nine-week period ended January 2, 2021, totaled $3.84 billion, down from $3.91 billion in the same period in the previous year.
Comparable sales at the company increased 5%, but it is worth noting that, as this figure excludes all stores that cease operations for more than four consecutive days, it does not take into account sales from locations temporarily closed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are very pleased with our Holiday results, which significantly exceeded our initial expectations,” said L Brands and Bath & Body Works CEO Andrew Meslow in a release.
The 9% decrease in comps at Victoria’s Secret reflected a 23% decline in comparable in-store sales, which were affected by decreased traffic related to the coronavirus crisis, and a 24% increase in the brand’s direct channel.
Despite the troubled brand’s declining comps, Meslow was keen to highlight progress being made with the business, which has, according to the company, seen strong improvements in its quarter-to-date merchandise margin rate.
“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,” explained the CEO.
As usual, Bath & Body Works, the other banner in L Brands’ portfolio, performed significantly better than the lingerie label, posting a 17% rise in comparable sales. This included a 5% increase in in-store comps and 64% sales growth in the direct channel.
Looking forward, L Brands expects to report earnings per share of between $2.70 and $2.80 for the fourth quarter. The company intends to publish its Q4 financial results on February 24, 2021.
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