Victoria’s Secret to Shut a Quarter of North America Stores

Victoria's Secret

Many retailers are losing their grip with much of the economy shuttered by coronavirus lockdowns.

According to a commentary that accompanied the company's first-quarter earnings report, 13 of its 38 Victoria's Secret stores in Canada will be closed with the remaining closures taking place in the U.S. It's another blow to the beleaguered retailer just weeks after its half-billion dollar plan to go private was scrapped.

Victoria's Secret is slimming down - and Wall Street likes the new look.

L Brands also said it was closing 50 Bath & Body Works stores, mostly in mall locations where it doesn't expect foot traffic to regain pre-pandemic normalcy.

Victoria's Secret's parent company said Wednesday, May 20 it plans to permanently close approximately 250 stores in the US and Canada in a commentary alongside its first-quarter earnings report.

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More store closures could happen in the coming years, Victoria's Secret interim Chief Executive Officer Stuart Burgdoerfer said on a call with analysts on Thursday.

L Brands said its overall sales for the three months ended May 2 fell 37 percent compared with a year ago.

L Brands also announced that 51 Bath & Body Works stores in the USA and Canada will close this year. Nearly all of the company's stores have been closed since March 17 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The brand has roughly 1,700 stores in North America. Its online sales grew 85% over previous year. According to Columbus Business First, Victoria's Secret saw sales fall 15 percent during the first quarter.

Other established brands have taken a hit too, such as Neiman Marcus and J. Crew, both of which filed for bankruptcy in early May.

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