Victoria’s Secret is entering the Israeli market as it continues its attempts to reinvigorate the lingerie brand.
“In Israel, Victoria’s Secret is a beloved brand. There’s a lot of excitement in the country about this,” Inbar Schwartz, senior vice president of business development at Delta Galil, told WWD. “And Bath & Body Works is a little less well known, but we think it’s a great brand and a great franchise and we have no doubt the Israeli public will take to it as well.”
The franchised stores, which are tentatively set to open in the back half of 2021, will be the first time L Brands will have freestanding Victoria’s Secret or Bath & Body Works stores in Israel, Schwartz added. She wouldn’t confirm the exact number of stores within each brand, but said the plan was to open in several markets, not just Tel Aviv.
“We will go to the best malls, the best sites, whatever will maximize or whatever will make the best success for these brands in Israel,” Schwartz said.
Victoria’s Secret has been in revival mode for the last several months. The turnaround includes a string of new senior-level hires; closing unprofitable stores in favor of potentially more lucrative markets, such as Milan; selling a majority stake of Victoria’s Secret U.K. business to Next plc, and trimming $400 million in expenses by reducing the corporate headcount.
L Brands has also said it plans to spin off the Victoria’s Secret business into a private company, leaving Bath & Body Works as a stand-alone public firm, but has yet to release a solid date.
Meanwhile, Delta Galil — which counts Seven For All Mankind, Splendid, Schiesser, Eminence, Delta, P.J. Salvage, Karen Neuburger, Nearly Nude and Fix among its brands — is riding the highs of the casual wave accentuated by the pandemic. In the most recent quarter, sales of intimates and loungewear were up as consumers continue to hunker down at home. In August, Delta Galil agreed to buy lingerie and swimwear e-tailer Bare Necessities for an undisclosed amount.
L Brands declined to comment on the deal. But according to Schwartz, Delta Galil will have a 60 percent stake in the new partnership.
“In general we have a very special connection and relationship with the Israel public in this [innerwear] space,” Schwartz said. “We’re about a $200 million business in Israel with [earnings before interest and taxes] of approximately 15 percent.
“We also have a very long-standing relationship with Victoria’s Secret as one of their vendors,” she added. “They’re one of our biggest customers and it’s a relationship that we really cherish. We’re happy to be [L Brands’] partner and we’re going to put all of our resources to make it a success.”