Victoria’s Secret chief doubles down on brick and mortar despite falling sales

L Brands has been using 70% of investments for renovation and expansion

Feb.February 06, 2018 12:30 PM

Leslie Wexner (Credit: Forbes, Wikimedia Commons)

Weak holiday sales and declining same-store sales may be a warning sign for some retailers to cut back and reduce their physical footprints.

But L Brands CEO Leslie Wexner is focusing on brick and mortar, so much so that the company, which owns Victoria Secret, has added stores over the past two years, bringing its total in North America to about 3,000, Wexner told the Wall Street Journal. He believes the internet and smartphones won’t kill traditional retail despite the thousands of store closures in recent years.

L Brands, which also owns Pink and Bath & Body Works, has been using 70 percent of its investments to open and renovate stores.

Victoria’s Secret’s parent company’s same-store sales are expected to decline for the first time in seven years and the company’s share price has dropped 50 percent since 2015. And the company has plenty of online competition. Amazon launched its own bra line last year, and lingerie startups have had 34 funding rounds over the past five years. [WSJ] – Katherine Kallergis

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