FARGO - Fargo’s West Acres regional shopping mall has gotten no communications yet on whether the local Victoria’s Secret or PINK stores will be closed as part of a reorganization announced Wednesday, May 20, in an earnings report by parent corporation L Brands.
L Brands said it will close an estimated 250 stores in the U.S. and Canada in 2020. The company also said it was evaluating alternatives to reduce or eliminate losses in the United Kingdom and Canada.
“We have not heard from our L Brands stores yet,” Alissa Adams, West Acres’ senior vice president of marketing and business development said Thursday, May 21.
“Closing 250 stores is a big deal,” L Brands CEO Andrew Meslow said in a live earnings call Thursday. He added that the closings would take place over the next several months and that conversations were being initiated with landlords.
L Brands said it is looking to reduce its costs in inventory management, by buying its goods at lower prices, and improving its product mix so that it can reduce discounted sales.
L Brands said in its 2020 first quarter earnings report that there were 1,070 Victoria’s Secret and PINK stores in the U.S. and Canada as of May 2, 2020. Twenty-two Victoria’s Secret stores had closed in the last three months.
L Brands also operates Bath & Body Works, which has 1,737 stores in the U.S. and Canada.
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There are 90 Victoria’s Secret and PINK stores in the United Kingdom, Ireland and China, L Brands reported.
The company reported net sales of $1.654 billion for the first quarter ended May 2, 2020, compared to sales of $2.629 billion for the quarter ended May 4, 2019. Almost all of the company’s stores have been closed since March 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
L Brands said it is committed to turning its Bath & Body Works stores into a pure-play public company and is preparing Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, Victoria’s Secret Beauty and PINK to operate as a separate, standalone company. The company said that given the uncertainty of the current business environment, that it will not provide second quarter or full-year 2020 earnings guidance.
L Brands said that it projects about 55 new stores and remodelings for Bath & Body Works for 2020, down from its recent historical rate of about 200 projects per year. That forecast includes 51 closures in 2020.