Victoria's Secret to close 250 stores after pandemic causes plunge in sales numbers

Victoria's Secret to close 250 stores after pandemic causes plunge in sales numbers
Posted at 11:53 AM, May 21, 2020

L Brands says it plans to close 250 Victoria's Secret stores after the company saw a significant sales slump amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The company made the announcement during an earnings call with investors on Thursday.

According to USA Today, L Brands saw total company net sales decline by 37 percent in the first quarter as local governments shuttered non-essential businesses to prevent the spread of COVID-19. According to Columbus Business First, Victoria's Secret saw sales fall 15 percent during the first quarter.

According to Columbus Business First, the closures would represent 22 percent of the Victoria's Secret's 1,091 stores. Most of the closures would come in the U.S., with a handful of stores in Canada also closing.

In February, L Brands announced it intended to sell a controlling stake in Victoria's Secret to Sycamore Partners LLC, a private equity firm. However, after the pandemic reached the U.S., USA Today reports that the firm went to court to back out of the deal. Both L Brands and Sycamore Partners called off the deal in May.

Bath & Body Works, another L Brands retail chain, announced a 20 percent increase in sales, as consumers raced to by soap and sanitizer amid the pandemic. However, USA Today reports that L Brands also plans to close 50 of the stores in the U.S permanently.

L Brands announcement comes days after Pier 1 Imports announced it was closing all its stores permanently, and after JC Penney announced it was filing for bankruptcy.