By JACQUELAN LAUREAN YATES, GMA
Victoria’s Secret is closing 250 stores in shopping centers, malls and other locations in the U.S. and Canada.
This news comes as the lingerie giant continues to see a plummet in sales during the coronavirus pandemic.
On a call with analysts, Victoria’s Secret CEO Stuart Burgdoerfer said, “What we see is a somewhat smaller but substantially more profitable business with a much better foundation, and then obviously a return to growth which is what all of us are looking for.”
With these closures, the brand’s parent company, L Brands, will eliminate 22% of the company’s 1,091 stores in addition to 1.26 million square feet of real estate.
“We would expect to have a meaningful number of additional store closures beyond the 250 that we’re pursuing this year, meaning there will be more in 2021 and probably a bit more in 2022,” Burgdoerfer said.
Bath & Body Works, another label under the mass retailer, will close 50 stores nationwide and one in Canada.
L Brands faced a 37% drop in sales across its brands during its first quarter of business besides closures amid COVID-19. However, Bath & Body Works surged 20% in soap and sanitizer sales.
“What we are intensely focused on right now is strengthening the foundation of that business and even addressing the foundation of that business to manage through this crisis and to create a foundation for separation and for growth,” L Brands CEO Andrew Meslow said in a statement
In February, Victoria’s Secret was poised to sell a 55% stake to New York-based private equity firm Sycamore Partners, but the upswing of the coronavirus pandemic lead to the deal being called off in early May.
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