Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works closing stores in Canada, US

Grant Boone
May 22, 2020

Victoria's Secret will permanently close around 250 stores in the USA and Canada in 2020, parent company L Brands announced Wednesday.

Victoria's Secret closed stores due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 17.

L Brands said it is "closely evaluating all locations, especially more vulnerable centers for risk of closure", according to the company's quarterly earnings commentary.

The total number of closings represents less than 25 percent of Victoria's Secret's store footprint.

Ohio-based L Brands did not detail the closure locations, but there are 42 Victoria's Secret stores in New Jersey and 1,000 nationwide.

Victoria's Secret sales have dropped even further by 46% in the first quarter, according to L Brands.

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In February, L Brands announced a deal to sell 55% of Victoria's Secret to Sycamore Partners, a NY private equity firm.

"As part of this strategy, the company remains committed to establishing Bath & Body Works as a pure-play public company and is taking the necessary steps to prepare the Victoria's Secret Lingerie, Victoria's Secret Beauty and PINK businesses to operate as a separate, standalone company", L Brands said in an announcement.

Victoria's Secret joins other retailers in permanently closing some of its stores that went dark due to the pandemic.

As many physical stores remain shuttered and consumers' shopping habits change amid the pandemic, Stephens said he expects more companies to follow suit.

"We continue to believe Victoria's Secret sits in the interesting position of being one of the largest brands in the history of time, and yet one that, for all intents and purposes, does not make money", BMO analyst Simeon Siegel wrote in a research report.

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