There’s no covering it up. Victoria’s Secret is not doing well. And the parent stock has fallen as a result.
Excessive promotional sales in January may have been the most recent culprit.
Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, L Brands, released January sales Thursday morning showing a continued decline for the intimates brand.
Sales at the parent company L Brands, which includes the Pink and the Bath & Body Works businesses, were just $780.1 million for the four weeks ending Feb. 2, down from more than $1 billion during the five weeks that ended Feb. 3.
Victoria’s Secret Internet business declined 1 percent during the month of January, while same-store sales fell 8 percent. Even Bath & Body Works, the most lucrative business in the company’s portfolio, did not fare well last month. The online business was flat while same-store sales decreased 4 percent.
Victoria’s Secret and parent L Brands have tried a variety of tricks recently to revive the brand, including outing Jan Singer as ceo, shedding Henri Bendel and La Senza from the portfolio and even promising to bring swimsuits back. Still, the stock is down more than 43 percent year-over-year.
Even the annual fashion show, once hailed as the must-see event of the season, hasn’t done much to improve the brands’ image. Viewership for last November’s New York runway show declined.
Some shoppers blame Victoria’s Secret’s refusal to adjust to changing consumer preferences, like incorporating different body types into the show, as the reason for its decline.
But Ike Boruchow of Wells Fargo said excessive promotions hurt Victoria’s Secret core lingerie business more.
“In December and January, both [Victoria’s Secret] and Pink sought to drive traffic with incremental broad-based discounts, e.g. 40 percent off everything in December, and [an] addition 40 percent off Pink clearance in January,” the analyst wrote in a recent note.
Shares of L Brands were down more than 1 percent Thursday morning before the market opened.