L Brands is planning to permanently shutter approximately 250 Victoria’s Secret and 50 Bath & Body Works stores in the U.S. and Canada following a weak quarter. The COVID-19 crisis contributed to a 37% drop in total sales across the brands, largely due to most locations being closed since March 17.
The Victoria’s Secret store closures will hit 235 of its 909 stores in the U.S. and 13 of its 38 stores in Canada, as well as three of its 133 Pink stores. The Bath & Body Works closures include 50 U.S. locations and one Canadian shop.
The affected stores will be shuttered in the coming months, according to Victoria’s Secret Interim CEO Stuart Burgdoerfer in a call with investors. The retailer also is planning for “a meaningful number of additional store closures beyond the 250 that we’re pursuing this year,” including “more in 2021 and probably a bit more in 2022.”
Bath & Body Works was a bright spot for L Brands despite the closures: e-Commerce sales rose 85% to $288.9 million during the quarter. Additionally, same-store sales rose 20% at stores that remained open during Q1 2020.