Victoria’s Secret is closing 53 more stores, its parent company L Brands has announced.
The closings announcement comes after 30 Victoria’s Secret stores closed in 2018 compared with the average of 15 stores a year, company officials said during a quarterly earnings call with analysts.
During L Brands’ earnings call, Stuart Burgdoerfer, the company’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, said the need to close stores was “based on the overall performance of the Victoria’s Secret business, not meeting our expectations or having year-on-year declines.”
The closings make up about 4 percent of the company’s 1,143 Victoria’s Secret stores worldwide. L Brands also owns Bath & Body Works.
“How we go about it is we look at current and projected performance, sales, profit, cash flow,” Burgdoerfer said in the call with analysts. “We look at trade area dynamics and how store openings and closings affect nearby stores and to a lesser extent, our online business.”
L Brands will continue to invest in Bath & Body Works’ White Barn concept, the company said, with “about 200 White Barn projects planned for 2019.”
Thursday was a tough day for retail. J.C. Penney announced it would close 24 more stores and Gap said it would close roughly 230 stores as it plans to split from Old Navy.
On Feb. 13, Coresight Research released an outlook of 2019 store closures that said there was “no light at the end of the tunnel.” Days after the report, Payless ShoeSource announced it would close all of its U.S. stores.
By Oluwatoyin Adeleye