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L Brands prices $500 million in senior notes

BY Dan Berthiaume

Columbus, Ohio – The previously announced offering of $500 million aggregate principal amount of unsecured senior notes due 2023 from L Brands (formerly knows as Limited Brands) has priced at 100% of the aggregate principal amount with a coupon of 5.625%. The sale of the 2023 notes was underwritten by BofA Merrill Lynch, Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC as joint book-running managers.

The 2023 notes will be guaranteed by certain L Brands subsidiaries. The company intends to use proceeds from the offering, after the payment of fees and expenses, for repayment of its 5.25% senior unsecured notes due November 2014 at maturity and for general corporate purposes, including repayment of outstanding borrowings under its revolving credit facility to fund seasonal working capital, share repurchases and dividends.

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Visa: Digital commerce on the rise

BY Dan Berthiaume

Foster City, Calif. – Consumers are spending more money via digital commerce than ever before. According to a new survey from Visa and GfK Research, “The Way We Pay,” more than half of respondents are more comfortable spending money online today than five years ago. The data shows that consumers are spending more than they ever have – exceeding $1 billion per day on the Visa network in 188 days since January.

In addition, 53% of respondents who buy online do so without going to a retail store to see or test a product before buying online, suggesting the popularity of showrooming may be on the decline. Twenty-seven percent of smartphone owners and 24% of tablet owners have made an online purchase in the past 12 months. Other findings include:

  • Twenty-seven percent of smart phone users and 24% of tablet owners have used their mobile device to make a purchase in the past year.
  • The mobile-payments market is expected to grow by 31% this year to $235.4 billion, and to increase by more than three-fold by 2017.
  • More people (57%) say that digital wallets already have, will or may replace a physical wallet in the next five years than those who say it will never happen (43%).
  • On average, 40% of respondents carry less than $20 in their wallet.

The survey was conducted by telephone of 1,000 U.S. consumers age 18 and older, 500 men and 500 women, in August 2013.

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UGG Australia launching online customization tool

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — UGG Australia will launch UGG by You, an online customization tool putting customers in control of the design process and transforming a visit to the retailer’s website from a shopping trip to a creative experience.

The customization tool allows consumers to mix and match an array of color schemes on two classic styles, the UGG Classic Short sheepskin boot and its Fluff Flip Flop, through a user-friendly design tool. There are over 11,000 color, outsole and trim combinations possible through the footwear personalization tool.

"UGG lovers have a unique, emotional connection with our brand, and with each pair they buy," said UGG Australia president Constance X. Rishwain.

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