Victoria's Secret says it's closing 20 stores this year

Business Insider/Mary HanburyVictoria’s Secret — and its Pink brand — are struggling.

  • Victoria’s Secret plans to close 20 stores this year as sales drop and the brand comes under pressure.
  • That number includes six stores the company has already closed; it has not announced which others it plans to shut down.
  • The retailer’s parent company, L Brands, reported its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday. Same-store sales at Victoria’s Secret, which also includes the Pink brand, were down by 1%.

Victoria’s Secret plans to close 20 stores this year as sales drop and the brand comes under pressure.

Stuart Burgdoerfer, the CFO of the retailer’s parent company, L Brands, made the announcement in a call with investors on Thursday.

Six stores have already closed this year in North America, while the company plans to open three. The company has not announced which other stores it plans to close.

L Brands reported its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday. Same-store sales at Victoria’s Secret, which also includes the Pink brand, were down by 1%.

Pink, which used to be one of the brand’s sweet spots, has struggled recently. CEO Denise Landman said same-store sales for this brand alone were down in the mid-single digits.

“While management is citing fashion misses, we think there are structural, brand-related issues at hand here, especially with American Eagle’s Aerie posting recent same-store sales in excess of 30%,” the Jefferies analyst Randy Konik wrote in a note to investors on Thursday.

Landman is set to retire at the end of the year and be replaced by Amy Hauk, the head of merchandising and product development at another L Brands retailer, Bath & Body Works.

Konik is sceptical of the brand’s new leadership.

“We question whether an exec without apparel expertise is the right person to lead Pink at a time when merchandise and brand issues need to be corrected,” he wrote.

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