Victoria’s Secret is set to permanently close 250 US and Canadian stores as the beleaguered retailer faces another blow, its Parent company L Brands revealed on Wednesday.
L Brands, which also owns Bath & Body Works, reported net sales during the first quarter of 2020 fell 37 per cent to $1.65 billion ($AU2.5b), compared to the same period last year, with almost all of the company’s stores forced to close in the final weeks of the quarter due to the coronavirus.
Victoria’s Secret sales fell 46 per cent to $821.5 million ($AU1.25b). Meanwhile, L Brands shares fell two per cent in after-hours trading following the news.
While the brand said the closures were due to the economic impact of COVID-19, even prior to the pandemic, Victoria’s Secret was struggling.
In February, it was announced VS was being sold to a private equity firm in a $US525 million ($AU793m) deal, however, that deal has since fallen through.
The lingerie company has also faced scrutiny over its CEO and chairman Leslie Wexner’s ties to Jeffrey Epstein, though he said he cut ties with the now-deceased Epstein in 2007.
The lingerie brand has also come under fire in recent times for being out-of-touch with the modern consumer.
In November 2019, Victoria’s Secret annual fashion was been axed amid falling sales and the struggle to generate any interest in the catwalk spectacle.
However, just recently, the brand unveiled two new brand ambassadors from Asia in a push for greater diversity and inclusion amongst its models.