The latest fashion retailer being forced to close physical stores due to the popularity of online shopping is Victoria’s Secret. The lingerie shop’s parent company, L Brands, Inc., made the not-so-surprising announcement on Thursday, February 28.
The news comes after it was revealed that store sales from 2018’s critical fourth quarter saw a 7 percent decrease.
According to Today, 53 Victoria’s Secret and PINK (its sister brand) North American stores will shutter this year. Although that is less than 5 percent of the company’s 1,143 overall locations, it is still a significant amount.
CNBC reported that part of Victoria’s Secrets problem may be because the brand is focused on sexy lingerie pieces, and many women today are seeking more comfortable pieces of undergarments. For example, the retail research company NPD Group said that millennials, who make up more than a third of the women’s intimate apparel market, spent a third of their 2018 bra dollars on sports bras.
Additionally, CNBC said that many consumers may be seeking out lingerie brands that are more inclusive such as Aerie, Third Love, and Adore Me.
“We are taking a fresh, hard look at everything in the business,” said Stuart Burgdoerfer, the chief financial officer of L Brands, during a conference call on Thursday morning, according to Forbes.
“Everything is on the table for review and change. The dominant focus is understanding the customer and making significant improvement to the merchandise assortment.”
“We have new product launches throughout spring in lingerie, PINK, and beauty, including a limited, curated, digital-only swim assortment in March, and we will continue to leverage the speed we have in our supply chain to test, read, and react,” Victoria’s Secret vice president and spokesperson Tammy Roberts Myers told Today.
During the first two months of 2019, several fashion retailers have announced major store closings, including JC Penney, Gymboree, Shopko, and Charlotte Russe. And, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, Payless ShoeSource recently announced that it will close all of its U.S. locations, and began liquidation sales on February 17.
L Brands, which is based in Columbus, Ohio, recently shut down the upscale Henri Bendel chain, closing all of its brick-and-mortar locations as well as its website. However, one of its other brands, Bath & Body Works, is doing quite well, posting a 12 percent sales gain in the fourth quarter of 2018, noted Forbes.
The company has not yet revealed which of its Victoria’s Secret and PINK shops will be closing.