- Victoria’s Secret is bringing back swimwear in the spring.
- In 2016, the lingerie giant scrapped its popular swimwear collection along with some of its apparel offerings in order to focus on underwear.
- The decision had a negative impact on its business for several months after.
Victoria’s Secret is bringing back swimwear.
In a call with investors on Tuesday morning, Stuart Burgdoerfer, CFO of Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands, confirmed that the lingerie giant would be bringing swimwear back in 2019.
Burgdoerfer said that this decision was based on customer feedback.
“Fundamentally it is about what the customer is telling us,” he said.
A spokesperson for Victoria’s Secret confirmed that these new items would hit stores and online in the spring.
Victoria’s Secret scrapped its popular swimwear collection along with some of its apparel offerings in order to focus on underwear in April 2016.
In its 2017 fourth-quarter earnings, reported in February this year, the company said its decision to quit this category was still having a negative impact on its business.
“For the 48 weeks ended Dec. 30, 2017, the exit of the swim and apparel categories had a negative impact of about 3 percentage points and 5 percentage points to total company and Victoria’s Secret comparable sales, respectively,” the earnings press release said.
Despite this, analysts were still confident that it was a good business decision.
“They are returning to focus on their core, which for Victoria’s Secret was undergarments. I think that was a brilliant move,” Bridget Weishaar, an equity analyst at Morningstar, told Business Insider in February.
Swimwear was once a $US500 million part of Victoria’s Secret business and accounted for 6.5% of its sales, but CEO Les Wexner abandoned it to focus on other parts of the business.
“We are making these changes to accelerate our growth … by narrowing our focus and simplifying our operating model,” CEO Les Wexner said at the time. “I am certain that these changes are necessary for our industry-leading brands to reach their significant potential.”
Victoria’s Secret once ruled the underwear market in the US, but in recent years it has lost market share to other brands, like Aerie, that promote natural beauty and self-acceptance in their ad campaigns. Same-store sales numbers were down 6% at Victoria’s Secret stores during the most recent quarter. They were down 2% including the brand’s online channels.
Last week, reports surfaced that Victoria’s Secret’s former CEOJan Singer, who was at the company for two years, would be leaving. On Monday, L Brands announced that John Mehas, who is currently president of Tory Burch, will be taking up the position.
Analysts are now hoping that with a new leader in place, the brand will have a much-needed shake-up.
“The departure of Jan Singer as CEO should help herald in changes someone coming in will have fresh ideas about reviving the fortunes of Victoria’s Secret,” Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail said in a note to clients on Monday.
He continued: a “powerful personality will be required to blow away the entrenched attitudes that have prevailed for too long.”
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