Victoria’s Secret to close three Canadian stores amid global reduction

A general view of lingerie on display inside a Victoria's Secret store at 640 5th Avenue on Feb. 7 2017 in New York City

Victoria's Secret will close 53 stores

Same-store sales for L Brands on the whole rose 3 percent as its second-biggest division by revenue, Bath & Body Works, saw a same-store sales growth of 12 percent.

Victoria's Secret will close 53 stores located throughout North America after poor holiday sales. Net sales were up by one per cent, at $4.85 billion, and net income decreased by one per cent to $595 million.

Net income fell to $540.1 million, or $1.94 per share, in the quarter ended February 2, from $664.1 million or $2.33 a share, a year earlier.

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"We are closing more stores ... based on the overall performance of the Victoria's Secret business not meeting our expectations", L Brands chief financial officer Stuart Burgdoerfer told analysts Thursday, adding that the company typically averages about 15 store closures per year.

That could help, in light of some observers' belief that the brand's footprint is too large.

"The most important thing, in our view, is the merchandise", he said. Perhaps Victoria's Secret can take note. "LB said it expects its FY19 gross margin rate to be down to previous year, driven principally by a decline in the merchandise margin rate".

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Victoria's Secret's path to a turnaround looks challenging, too.

The situation is forcing discounts and executives said the brand has been "more promotional than we like". "Not only do these [competing] brands have positive on-trend messaging, they are also solving the fit problem of intimates in general and the DTC specifically".

"It's an attractive category", Burgdoefer said of the lingerie business. The company also said it would spin off its Old Navy brand. But shifting its identity could prove hard, said Janine Stichter, analyst at Jefferies.

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Other retailers, including Walmart and Best Buy, have performed strongly in recent months.

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