Sales at Victoria’s Secret stores open for at least a year and its website dropped 7% during the latest quarter compared with the same period last year, parent company L Brands said Wednesday.
L Brands, which also owns the stronger-performing Bath & Body Works brand, reported a loss of $252 million during the quarter. While L Brands (LB) stock ticked up slightly after trading hours Wednesday, it has lost 50% over the past year and its stock price is trading near its 10-year low. An activist investor has pressured the company to make sweeping changes.
Victoria’s Secret has lost women consumers to rivals such as Target (TGT), Kohl’s (KSS), American Eagle and lingerie startups. Leaders at Target and Kohl’s both called out their strength in their lingerie businesses during their most recent quarters.
Victoria’s Secret has also dealt with the fallout from L Brands founder and CEO Leslie Wexner’s ties to disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein, whose death in jail last August has been ruled a suicide, was Wexner’s former personal money manager and a trustee of the Wexner Foundation, Wexner’s charitable group based Ohio. Wexner said he cut ties with Epstein in 2007.
In September, Wexner said that he was “embarrassed” that he put his trust in Epstein.
“Being taken advantage of by someone who was so sick, so cunning, so depraved is something that I am embarrassed that I was even close to, but that is in the past,” Wexner said at L Brands’ investor conference in September.
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