L Brands Inc., owner of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, will be cutting 200 jobs in Columbus and New York as the retailer reorganizes its online and catalogue businesses.
The Columbus-based company confirmed it would be eliminating the jobs as they were redundant and not needed with its new structure. Additional details about the cuts will be provided when the company releases its March same-store sales figures on Thursday. Thomson Reuters has estimated that L Brands will report a 2 percent improvement for March same-store sales, well below last year’s gain of 9 percent.
The 200 jobs will come from the Columbus and New York offices. Overall, L Brands employs 87,900 people, according to its most recent annual report.
At the Bank of America Consumer Conference in March, chief financial officer Stuart Burgdoerfer was asked about employee costs and said, “We haven’t been a minimum-wage employer for a long time and we’re not a self-service business, meaning there is more opportunity to drive sales through a higher quality, more productive interaction with a sales associate.”
Changes at the company have been expected since Leslie Wexner took over following the departure of longtime chief executive officer Sharen Turney. Burgdoefer said at the conference, “Fresh eyes bring fresh thinking, and Les has always been involved in the business.”
He went on to say, “We’ll try to be careful about how many things we change at once and hopefully we’ll get that more right than wrong. But we’re energized about it. We’re energized because this kind of creates an opportunity to just look at things in a fresh light, and we think there is opportunity from them.”
A few weeks ago Burgdoefer also said L Brands’ customer was pretty healthy, implying that sales were good. The company reports its first-quarter earnings on May 18.