(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Total sales at Victoria’s Secret and Pink stores in the U.S. and Canada were up 6.9% in the fourth quarter and 7.2% for the fiscal year ended January 30, 2016. Victoria’s Secret’s direct sales were up 15.2% in the last quarter and 3.5% for the year.
For the year, sales at the two stores totaled about $6.113 billion and sales at Victoria’s Secret direct totaled about $1.560 billion.
In January, however, Victoria’s Secret and Pink “comparable store sales decreased 4% versus last year driven by the shift of our semi-annual sale to December and a decline in our beauty business as we re-position this category,” according to a statement by Amie Preston, chief investor relations officer.
L Brands, a business which also includes Bath & Body Works, the La Senza lingerie stores in Canada and Henri Bendel, said the change at Victoria Secret led to a company-wide comparable store sales decrease of 2% for the four weeks ended January 30, 2016. “Absent the estimated impact of this timing shift, total company comps would have increased 1% in January.”
The merchandise margin rate at Victoria’s Secret and Pink stores “decreased versus last year, in line with expectations. The decrease in margin rate was primarily driven by” a promotion that discounted the price of its sports bras for a period of time, according to Preston. “In addition, margin rate was unfavorably impacted by FX in our Canadian business.”
Meanwhile in January Victoria’s Secret’s direct business rose 21% over the same month in 2015, and was "positively impacted by a later start to our semi-annual sale in December,” according to the investor relations officer. “The merchandise margin rate was down to last year, primarily driven by” the discounts on sports bras.
For all of L Brands, net sales for the fourth quarter ended January 30, 2016 were “$4.395 billion, an increase of 8% compared to $4.069 billion for the quarter ended Jan. 31, 2015.” For the year, the company recorded sales of “$12.154 billion, an increase of 6% compared to $11.454 billion for the year ended January 31, 2015.”
The company said it “expects to report fourth quarter earnings per share of about $2.05, above its previous guidance of $1.85 to $1.95."
Leslie H. Wexner, chairman and CEO, declared, “We achieved our best year ever in 2015. I am very appreciative of the focus on our customers, the excellent execution and teamwork across the enterprise that drove this result.”
Preston added, “In February we will focus on Valentine’s Day and delivering new fashion while staying focused on execution of the fundamentals.”
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