Victoria's Secret cuts 200 jobs, shifts away from print catalog
- Victoria’s Secret owner L Brands said Thursday it is cutting 200 jobs in Columbus and New York as the retail brand goes through restructuring.
- Victoria's Secret will be reorganized into three business units (Victoria's Secret Lingerie, PINK and Victoria's Secret Beauty), and is doing away with some of its product categories to focus on “core merchandise.”
The retailer also said it will be moving away from Victoria's Secret's reliance on its iconic print catalog, investing more in its loyalty program and Internet-based communications like social media to connect with customers.
These moves come after L Brands CEO and chairman Leslie Wexner took over the chief executive reins at Victoria's Secret, replacing Sharen Jester Turney who abruptly stepped down in February.
Late last year Wexner made waves with his insistence that physical stores were much more important than the Internet for retail. “We’re not as fascinated—have never been as fascinated—with the Internet as you are,” Wexner said in November. “If you build the brand, the Internet will follow.”
But it looks like the Internet may be way bigger than Victoria’s Secret’s print catalog. As Bloomberg notes, stepping away from its catalog is a sign that the brand isn't seeing a big enough return from the print publication.
“We are making these changes to accelerate our growth and to strengthen the business for the long term by narrowing our focus and simplifying our operating model," Wexner said in a statement.
The changes come despite Victoria's Secret posting results that exceeded expectations, with same-store sales up 2% compared to estimates of 1.7%, according to Bloomberg. Same-store sales for the five weeks ending April 2 increased 3%, the company said.
But Victoria's Secret is facing increasing competition from Internet upstarts like ThirdLove and Adore Me, which are disrupting the space with image-based sizing and lower prices.
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