L Brands March sales negatively impacted by swim and apparel exit
L Brands reported its third consecutive month of sales decreases. The parent company of Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works and Henri Bendel was negatively impacted by the exit of swim and apparel categories for the month of March.
The company announced in April 2016 that it would end the Victoria’s Secret swimwear and catalog businesses to simplify its operating model. The restructuring also resulted in the loss of 200 positions. The exit of swim and apparel categories has negatively impact the company since January. Victoria’s Secret has consistently posted monthly sales declines this year, and in February, it posted its steepest monthly decline in comparable sales. Total company comparable sales and Victoria’s Secret comp sales in the month of March fell by 7 percentage points and 10 percentage points, respectively, both due to the exit, and the later Easter season also negatively impacted total comp sales by 2 to 3 points. March net sales fell 7% to $951.4 million and comparable sales decreased 10%. This fiscal year is unfortunately starting on a decline for the company, with net sales for the nine weeks ended on April 1, 2017 decreasing 8%. Comparable sales also decreased 11% due to the exit of swim and apparel, which made a negative impact of 6 percentage points on comparable sales and a 9 percentage point impact on Victoria’s Secret comparable sales.