Victoria Secret closing more than 50 stores in North America this year

Posted March 02, 2019

North American operations fell 35 percent during the fourth quarter and were down 45 percent for the 2018 fiscal year, according to officials with Victoria's Secret's parent company, L Brands.

A spokesperson for the US -based lingerie brand's parent company declined to tell The Canadian Press which locations will be shuttered in Canada, but says they are part of a plan to slash 53 stores worldwide.

A drop in sales of 3 per cent over the Christmas period, combined with a fall of in-store sales by 7 per cent, meant shares in the parent company dropped by nearly 9 per cent this week. "We have not met our own expectations for overall performance", L Brands CFO Stuart Burgdoerfer said on the company's conference call. The lingerie chain now has some 957 USA stores.

"We close stores every year".

The store faces competition by such newer lingerie retailers as Adore Me, which opened its first USA store in the Mall past year.

Victoria's Secret is the latest retailer to announce store closures. Victoria's Secret square footage in North America is projected to decline by about 3%, it said. This would leave the chain with a total of 103 stores in the country.

Meanwhile, sales for the company's other brand, Bath and Body Works, were favorable, the company reported.

The results beat the company's own forecasts for the quarter, which it had revised downward midway through 2018.

In addition to the increase in closures, L Brands says it has "substantially pulled back on capital investment" at Victoria's Secret stores. "That's what it is", he said in the interview. On Thursday, L Brands' stocks dropped almost 7 percent.