(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). Victoria’s Secret and Pink April comparable store and direct sales in North America fell 2%, reversing the previous, positive trend for 2018. The lingerie labels had reported increases in comps in each of the first three months of the year.
Without benefit of direct to consumer business, April North American comparable store sales, by themselves, were down 5% for the two brands.
As has often been the case in recent months for the two labels, direct to consumer has been stronger than in store business. Fiscal first quarter 2018 numbers indicate this trend. Victoria’s Secret and Pink company-owned store sales fell to $1.236 billion for the three months ended May 5, 2018, compared to $1.247 billion for the fiscal quarter ended April 29, 2017. Meanwhile direct sales for the two brands rose sharply to $353.5 million this quarter, from $286.5 million in the first quarter of last year. Thus, for the full quarter, Victoria’s Secret and Pink North American combined store and direct sales were up, $1.589 billion compared to $1.533 billion last year.
In discussing the April results, Amie Preston, chief investor relations for parent company L Brands, explained the 2% overall decline in Victoria’s Secret and Pink North American comps noting, “strength in the beauty business was offset by a decline in lingerie and Pink.”
She added, “The merchandise margin rate was down signifiantly to last year driven by additional promotional activity in order to drive traffic,” for the two lingerie labels. Preston concluded, “In May we will focus on Mother’s Day and deliver new fashion in our core bra collections.”
Company-wide, L Brands, which also owns, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel, “reported net sales increased 4 percent to $751.6 million for the four weeks ended May 5, 2018, compared to net sales of $719.6 million for the four weeks ended April 29, 2017.”
As a whole, L Brands reported net sales of $2.626 billion for the fiscal first quarter, “an increase of 8 percent compared to sales of $2.437 billion for the quarter ended April 29, 2017. Comparable sales for the first quarter ended May 5, 2018, increased 3 percent compared to the thirteen weeks ended May 6, 2017.” — NM
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