With the holiday season underway, L Brands doesn't want to be haunted by the ghost of Christmas past.
Last year, the company's cash-cow, Victoria's Secret, lost out on sales because it was not promotional enough and was short on inventory in key categories, including sleepwear and beauty, Stifel Nicolaus analyst Richard Jaffe said in a research note.
This year, brand sales should get a boost from more promotions, greater depth in gift categories and an easier-to-shop beauty channel—including the always-popular fragrance category.
Beauty outposts placed throughout the store will offer gift sets at a wide range of prices. Both those and apparel items will be subject to promotions that preserve margins. Still, Jaffe said, in a highly competitive holiday environment, "it's going to be hard fought [for] every penny."
(Read more: Scenes from Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2013)
It doesn't help that L Brands posted its first monthly same-store sales loss in nearly four years, reporting that sales fell 5 percent in November year over year.
Purveyor of push-up bras Victoria's Secret—which has generated about 65 percent of the company's sales this year—had a 3 percent sales decrease.