(Filed Under wholesale Lingerie News). La Senza has apparently permanently closed all but 74 of its company-owned stores in Canada, and all but one in the U.S., according to a review of locations listed on its website at the end of July.
When Beverly Hills-based private equity firm Regent LP acquired the lingerie chain in January, 2019, previous owner L Brands reported there were 118 company-owned La Senza shops in Canada and a dozen in the U.S.
Meanwhile, outside of North America, the lingerie chain has added significantly to the number of franchise locations, raising the total to 202. In November 2018 L Brands had reported 186 La Senza franchise locations.
Of the remaining North American stores as of late July, La Senza wrote on its website that 63 had “recently reopened” in Canada, along with the remaining one in the U.S., at Easton Town Center in Columbus, Ohio.
At the start of this year questions were raised about the viability of La Senza when MGF Sourcing and two other suppliers filed an involuntary bankruptcy case against La Senza International Canada, LLC, in an effort to get paid on about $43 million in what they claimed were overdue bills.
According to the January 24 court filing, MGF stated it was owed almost $42 million for products is had shipped to La Senza. In addition two other suppliers, Ocean Lanka (Pvt) Ltd. and Teejay Lanka Plc also claimed they were owed $731,805.50 and $195,209 respectively.
Shortly afterwards, La Senza contested the involuntary bankruptcy in its own court filing. Among other things it pointed to an ongoing legal dispute over the “Master Sourcing Agreement” it had with MGF, and stated that the Sri Lankan companies were “not actually creditors of La Senza,” noting that they were suppliers to MGF and that “La Senza has never been invoiced by them directly.”
Well before the pandemic affected its business, La Senza was in trouble. When it announced the sale of La Senza in 2019, L Brands revealed it had been losing money on the chain. “The company estimates that La Senza’s 2018 revenues and operating loss will be approximately $250 million and $40 million (approximately $0.12 per share), respectively.”
An interesting note about La Senza is the number of non-company brands also currently sold on its website. Listed under “Collabs,” and described as “labels we love,” those brands include Cosabella, Honeydew, Kat the Label, Lurelly, Thistle & Spire and Wonderform. — NM
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