(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Victoria’s Secret May comparable store sales in North America increased 5%, while the online and catalog direct business for the brand decreased by 3% compared to the same month last year.
In announcing the May results, parent company L Brands also revealed that the closings at La Senza, its lingerie store chain in Canada, are continuing at a brisk past. Since the start of February it has closed 12 of the shops, dropping the total in that country to 133 as of the end of May.
Amie Preston, chief investor relations officer at L Brands, explained the decline in the Victoria’s Secret direct business, claiming, as we have heard in similar statements before, that “mid-teens growth in core categories was more than offset by the exit of apparel.”
For L as a whole, “net sales increased 5% to $799.1 million for the four weeks ended May 30, 2015, compared to net sales of $763.6 million for the four weeks ended May 31, 2014,” according to the company sales release. “Comparable store sales for the four weeks ended May 30, 2015, increased 5%.” The firm’s other brands and stores include PINK, Bath & Body Works and Henri Bendel.
L reported overall “net sales of $3.311 billion for the 17 weeks ended May 30, 2015, an increase of 5% compared to sales of $3.155 billion for the 17 weeks ended May 31, 2014. Comparable store sales for the 17 weeks ended May 30, 2015, increased 5%.”
In remarks explaining the May numbers, Preston said that at Victoria’s Secret stores in North America (which includes Pink but not La Senza) the “merchandise margin rate increased versus last year.” She added, “May began with our new and improved Bombshell Collection and our Pink racer back bralette. May mid-month, we transitioned to our Multi-Way Collection which will continue until the start of our semi-annual sale in mid-June, the timing of which is comparable to last year.”
For Victoria’s Secret’s direct business, “the May merchandise margin rate was up significantly to last year driven by the mix into core merchandise categories.” Preston added that “as we mentioned in our earnings call, we are shortening our semi-annual sale in the direct channel by two weeks this year which we expect will negatively impact June sales but positively impact the merchandise margin rate.”
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