— ANNOUNCES STRATEGIC ACTIONS AT VICTORIA’S SECRET —
COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 07, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- L Brands, Inc. (NYSE:LB) reported net sales increased 5% to $1.027 billion for the five weeks ended April 2, 2016, compared to net sales of $981.2 million for the five weeks ended April 4, 2015. Comparable sales for the five weeks ended April 2, 2016, increased 3% and were negatively impacted by the earlier Easter this year by approximately 1 to 2 points.
The company reported net sales of $1.876 billion for the nine weeks ended April 2, 2016, an increase of 5% compared to sales of $1.787 billion for the nine weeks ended April 4, 2015. Comparable sales for the nine weeks ended April 2, 2016, increased 4%.
The company also announced changes at Victoria’s Secret designed to further focus the brand on its core merchandise categories and streamline operations. These actions include:
- Restructuring the organization into three business units: Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, PINK and Victoria’s Secret Beauty. The leaders of these business units will continue to report directly to Leslie H. Wexner, chairman and CEO.
- Integrating the direct business as a primarily digital channel within the Victoria’s Secret and PINK businesses to align with how customers engage with the brands.
- Focusing resources on core merchandise categories, where the company believes the greatest growth potential exists. This will involve the elimination of certain merchandise categories.
- Evolving how the business connects with customers through more focus on loyalty programs and brand-building engagement rather than traditional catalogues and offers.
- Streamlining the organization through the elimination of approximately 200 Columbus and New York home office associates.
“Coming off a record year, now is the best time to make improvements … going from best to even better,” said Wexner. “We are making these changes to accelerate our growth and to strengthen the business for the long term by narrowing our focus and simplifying our operating model. I am certain that these changes are necessary for our industry-leading brands to reach their significant potential … nonetheless, decisions about people are the most difficult ones to make, and we are taking care to support associates who are being affected by these changes.”
Further detail and information about the ongoing impact of these actions will be provided on the company’s first quarter earnings call on May 19.
To hear further commentary provided on L Brands’ prerecorded March sales message, call 1-866-639-7583, or log onto www.LB.com for an audio replay.
ABOUT L BRANDS:
L Brands, through Victoria’s Secret, PINK, Bath & Body Works, La Senza and Henri Bendel, is an international company. The company operates 3,005 company-owned specialty stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, and its brands are sold in more than 700 additional franchised locations worldwide. The company’s products are also available online at www.VictoriasSecret.com, www.BathandBodyWorks.com, www.HenriBendel.com and www.LaSenza.com.
Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
We caution that any forward-looking statements (as such term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) contained in this press release or the March sales call or made by our company or our management involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, many of which are beyond our control. Accordingly, our future performance and financial results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in any such forward-looking statements. Words such as “estimate,” “project,” “plan,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “planned,” “potential” and any similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements. Risks associated with the following factors, among others, in some cases have affected and in the future could affect our financial performance and actual results and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements included in this press release or the March sales call or otherwise made by our company or our management:
- general economic conditions, consumer confidence, consumer spending patterns and market disruptions including severe weather conditions, natural disasters, health hazards, terrorist activities, financial crises, political crises or other major events, or the prospect of these events;
- the seasonality of our business;
- the dependence on mall traffic and the availability of suitable store locations on appropriate terms;
- our ability to grow through new store openings and existing store remodels and expansions;
- our ability to successfully expand internationally and related risks;
- our relationships with independent franchise, license and wholesale partners;
- our direct channel businesses;
- our ability to protect our reputation and our brand images;
- our ability to attract customers with marketing, advertising and promotional programs;
- our ability to protect our trade names, trademarks and patents;
- the highly competitive nature of the retail industry and the segments in which we operate;
- consumer acceptance of our products and our ability to keep up with fashion trends, develop new merchandise and launch new product lines successfully;
- our ability to source, distribute and sell goods and materials on a global basis, including risks related to:
- political instability, significant health hazards, environmental hazards or natural disasters;
- duties, taxes and other charges;
- legal and regulatory matters;
- volatility in currency exchange rates;
- local business practices and political issues;
- potential delays or disruptions in shipping and transportation and related pricing impacts;
- disruption due to labor disputes; and
- changing expectations regarding product safety due to new legislation;
- our geographic concentration of supplier and distribution facilities in central Ohio;
- fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates;
- stock price volatility;
- our ability to pay dividends and related effects;
- our ability to maintain our credit rating;
- our ability to service or refinance our debt;
- our ability to retain key personnel;
- our ability to attract, develop and retain qualified employees and manage labor-related costs;
- the ability of our manufacturers to deliver products in a timely manner, meet quality standards and comply with applicable laws and regulations;
- fluctuations in product input costs;
- fluctuations in energy costs;
- increases in the costs of mailing, paper and printing;
- claims arising from our self-insurance;
- our ability to implement and maintain information technology systems and to protect associated data;
- our ability to maintain the security of customer, associate, supplier or company information;
- our ability to comply with regulatory requirements;
- legal and compliance matters; and
- tax matters.
We are not under any obligation and do not intend to make publicly available any update or other revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this press release or the March sales call to reflect circumstances existing after the date of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of future events even if experience or future events make it clear that any expected results expressed or implied by those forward-looking statements will not be realized. Additional information regarding these and other factors can be found in Item 1A. Risk Factors in our 2015 Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Comparable Sales Increase (Decrease):
Total company comps
(including direct sales)
Total company comps
(including direct sales)
| 2016 ||2015||2016||2015|
|Victoria’s Secret Stores1||2||%||6||%||3||%||5||%|
|Bath & Body Works1||5||%||9||%||7||%||7||%|
1 – Results include company-owned stores in the United States and Canada and direct sales.
2 – Results include company-owned stores in the United States, Canada and the UK and direct sales.
Store only comps
Store only comps
|Victoria’s Secret Stores1||0||%||9||%||2||%||8||%|
|Bath & Body Works1||2||%||9||%||4||%||7||%|
1 – Results include company-owned stores in the United States and Canada.
2 – Results include company-owned stores in the United States, Canada and the UK.
Total Company-Owned Stores:
|at 1/30/16||Opened||Closed||at 4/2/16|
|Victoria's Secret U.S.||990||2||(2||)||990|
|Victoria's Secret Canada||37||-||-||37|
|Total Victoria’s Secret||1,164||2||(2||)||1,164|
|Bath & Body Works U.S.||1,574||1||(1||)||1,574|
|Bath & Body Works Canada||98||-||-||98|
|Total Bath & Body Works||1,672||1||(1||)||1,672|
|Victoria’s Secret U.K.||12||-||-||12|
|La Senza Canada||126||-||(1||)||125|
|Total L Brands Stores||3,005||4||(4||)||3,005|
Source:L Brands Inc