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Victoria’s Secret, Pink October Comps +1%

(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). Comparable sales at Victoria’s Secret and Pink company-owned stores in North America fell 4% in October. But when the direct sales for those brands is included, the combined total rose 1% over last October.

While it is heartening to see a positive comp sales number for Victoria’s Secret and Pink, after ten straight months of negative numbers, it should be noted that October’s 1% increase comes after a 2% decline last October.

In November 2016 Victoria’s Secret and Pink reported a 5% increase in comp sales for company-owned stores and direct sales in North America. But that was followed by a 4% decline in December, a 10% decline in January 2017, a 16% decline in February, a 13% decline in March, a 12% decline in April, a 14% decline in May, a 17% decline June, a 10% decline in July, a 7% decline in August and a 5% decline in September 2017.

As expected, for the entire third quarter ended October 28, 2017, Victoria’s Secret and Pink reported a decline in total income. Sales at company-owned Victoria’s Secret and Pink company-owned stores in North America fell from $1.2859 billion to $1.2430 billion. Direct sales for the two labels fell from $298.2 million in the quarter ended October 29, 2016 to $295.9 million in the last three months.

Parent company L Brands, which also owns the La Senza lingerie brand, Bath & Body Works and Henri Bendel, saw its combined sales for the quarter rise to $2.6178 billion in the latest quarter, from $2.5810 billion a year ago.

Amie Preston, chief investor relations officer explained that “Victoria’s Secret October comparable sales were up 1% as growth in the Pink and beauty businesses was partially offset by about a 2 point impact of exiting swim and apparel and a decline in the lingerie business. The merchandise margin rate was down to last year driven by our quarter-end shrink results. Absent the shrink impact, the merchandise margin rate would have been about flat to last year in October.”

She added that “Third quarter sales at Victoria’s Secret decreased 3% to $1.539 billion and comps decreased 4%. The negative impact of exiting swim and apparel was about 2 points.”

Looking ahead, Preston reported, “In November we will focus on our Dream Angels collection and holiday apparel in the Pink business.” Talking about L Brands, she added, “expect November total company comps to be about flat. We expect the exit of swim and apparel to negatively impact total company comps in November by about 1 point.”

Many other retailers in the North America faced with sales declines have responded with sharp cuts in the number of their stores this year. But L Brands has actually increased the number of its lingerie stores here by one, raising the total to 1304. In the time between January 28 and October 28, 2017, L Brands opened three U.S. Victoria’s Secrets and closed eight, lowering the number to 993; added two Victoria’s Secrets in Canada, raising the number there to 39; opened seven Pink stores in the U.S. and closed one, raising the total to 139; closed two Pink stores in Canada, dropping the total to seven; opened one La Senza store in the U.S., raising the total to five; and opened one La Senza store in Canada and closed two, dropping the total to 121. — NM

more Financial and General Interest News >>

Published 11-02-2017 by Nick Monjo

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