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Victoria’s Secret goes private / Sales have faltered from 2015

by on February 21, 2020 in Business, Digital Marketing, Ecommerce, Lead Article, News you can use, Nuggets, Retail

Victoria’s Secret goes private / Sales have faltered from 2015

Victoria’s Secret is set to be taken private as a controlling stake in the business is acquired by investment firm Sycamore Partners.

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Chair Leslie Wexner, who has run L Brands for several decades, will also step down as CEO and chair of Victoria’s Secret as part of the transaction, though he will remain on L Brands’ board as chair emeritus.

Wexner said Sycamore’s “deep experience” in the retail industry would bring “a fresh perspective and greater focus to the business”.

Wexner founded L Brands in 1963 with a $5,000 loan from an aunt. In an email to staff he referenced the company’s humble beginnings. “Today feels very similar to the day that my aunt offered me a new start,” he wrote. “Today is the beginning of an important new chapter in the evolution of the enterprise.”

Widely regarded as an extraordinarily talented retailer, the “Merlin of the mall” bought Victoria’s Secret in 1982 for $1m and built it into the largest lingerie retailer in the US. By the 1990s it had sales of more than $1bn and its famous – or infamous – annual fashion show, featuring models known as Angels, helped launch the careers of top models including Gisele Bündchen, Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum.

But sales faltered from 2015 onwards as more body-positive brands like Aerie and Lively and athleisure brands like Lululemon attracted shoppers tired of Victoria’s Secret’s padded, push-up aesthetic.

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