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Until now, Bath & Body Works hadn’t been caught up in Victoria’s Secret store closures. Now you can add them to the growing list of retail chains permanently closing stores.
L Brands, the company that owns both of those stores, has been hit hard by coronavirus shutdowns like many other retailers — and now they’re shutting down nearly 300 stores this year.
51 ‘vulnerable’ Bath & Body Works stores are closing.
By the end of 2020, 50 Bath & Body Works locations in the U.S. and 1 location in Canada will close permanently. There are 1,635 Bath & Body Works stores nationwide, and 102 in Canada, so these closures represent about 3% of all stores.
L Brands said they are evaluating which locations they’ll be closing, noting that they’re especially considering “more vulnerable” stores.
Victoria’s Secret is planning to close about 250 stores.
After closing more than 80 stores over the past two years, a failed change of ownership, and quarterly losses, L Brands will close about 250 stores in the U.S. and Canada this year. Locations will be announced in the coming months.
Victoria’s Secret has 909 stores in the U.S., and the closure of 235 stores represents 21.5%. There will be 674 stores at the end of this, meaning 1/3 of stores have closed in the last two years.
L Brands will also close 3 of the 144 Pink stores in the U.S., and a third of their stores in Canada (13 locations out of 38).
Bath & Body Works is still going to be spun out into an independent company.
Until the coronavirus hit, Bath & Body Works had posted 40 straight quarters (10 years!) of sales growth.
Even after taking a hit from coronavirus, Bath & Body Works sales are only down 18%, while the rest of the company was down 46.5% from 2019.
While Victoria’s Secret has posted quarterly losses as of late, at the same time as they announced the store closures, L Brands said they’re moving forward with plans to make Bath & Body Works their own company — giving it a chance to succeed apart from Victoria’s Secret’s struggles.
You know the drill — look for liquidation sales.
It’s unlikely the Bath & Body Works locations will offer such sales, because the store closing represent such a small percentage of the total stores. But definitely count on it for Victoria’s Secret.
When Victoria’s Secret started closing stores in 2019, customers said goodbye with liquidation sales offering merch of up to 90% off.
Generally speaking, most of these sales last 8 – 12 weeks, depending on inventory. While discounts increase over time, like up to 90% off, you won’t want to wait that long because the best stuff will be gone.
Meanwhile, Bath & Body Works has reopened in ‘select locations.’
Check the Bath & Body Works website to see if your local store has reopened. There’s not an official list that’s been published, but so far, it looks like stores in the company’s home state of Ohio are on the list.