L Brands’ March comps sink

BY By Deena M. Amato-McCoy

L Brands’ recent exit from swimwear continues to take its toll on the company’s sales.

The specialty retailer, which operates Victoria’s Secret, Pink, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel, reported its net sales decreased 7% to $951.4 million for the five weeks ended April 1, 2017. This is compared to net sales of $1.027 billion for the five weeks ended April 2 , 2016.

Comparable sales for the five weeks decreased 10%. While the company blamed a later Easter for hurting sales by approximately 2 to 3 points, a bigger factor is the company’s recent exit from the swim and apparel categories. This move had a negative impact of 7 percentage points and 10 percentage points to total company and Victoria’s Secret comparable sales, respectively.

This is the fourth month of dismal comps performance, an issue that has impacted the company’s shares, overall. Specifically, the stock has plunged 33.3% in the past six months, compared with the retail-apparel/shoe industry’s decline of 22.8%, according to Zacks.

L Brands operates 3,078 company-owned specialty stores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Greater China, and its brands are sold in more than 750 additional franchised locations worldwide, as well as online.


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