(Filed Under Financial and General Interest News). Parent company L Brands may, apparently, sell or close its La Senza chain of stores according to an opaque announcement today. The division, with its company-owned shops mainly located in Canada, is expected to report “approximately $250 million” in 2018 sales, with an operating loss of $40 million.
L Brands, which also owns Victoria’s Secret and Pink, stated it “is pursuing all alternatives for its La Senza business. La Senza currently has 126 company-owned and operated stores in North America and 188 non-company owned international stores.” Eight of the La Senza stores are located in the U.S., with three having been added here since February 3rd of this year. The L Brands announcement did not expand on the various possible options for La Senza.
The moves with La Senza come, according to L Brands, as a “part of an ongoing effort to drive shareholder value and in order to focus on its larger core businesses.”
At the same time, L Brands also reported that comparable sales (including both store and direct business) for Victoria’s Secret and Pink in North America rose by 1% in September following a 5% decline last September. Comparable store sales alone were down 2%, following a 4% drop last September.
Amie Preston, chief investor relations officer, said the sales increase for the two brands in September was “driven by growth in lingerie and beauty, partially offset by a decline in Pink. The merchandise margin rate was down significantly to last year, driven by increased promotional activity.”
She continued that “in October we will focus on new fashion through our Very Sexy collection in the lingerie business and everyday loungewear in the Pink business.”
For L Brands as a whole, which also includes Bath & Body Works and Henri Bendel, the company “reported net sales of $1.058 billion for the five weeks ended Oct. 6, 2018, an increase of 8 percent, compared to net sales of $981.6 million for the five weeks ended Sept. 30, 2017. Comparable sales increased 5 percent for the five weeks ended Oct. 6, 2018, compared to the five weeks ended Oct. 7, 2017.” The company also reported “net sales of $7.524 billion for the 35 weeks ended Oct. 6, 2018, an increase of 7 percent compared to net sales of $7.015 billion for the 35 weeks ended Sept. 30, 2017. Comparable sales increased 3 percent for the 35 weeks ended Oct. 6, 2018, compared to the 35 weeks ended Oct. 7, 2017.” — NM
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