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Victoria’s Secret shifts from bras to panties among slumping sales

Victoria's Secret is trying to revamp how it sells panties as the company posted its second straight quarter of declines in its panties business. First it was bras. Now Wall Street is worried about the panties at Victoria’s Secret. The lingerie seller, which has struggled to pull out of a sales slump, just posted its second straight quarter of declines in its panties business. Before the latest downturn, the category hadn’t suffered a drop since 2009, when the recession hurt demand for high-end underwear.

L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret and the Bath & Body Work chain, is trying to revamp how it sells panties. Previously, underwear was used as a promotion to get shoppers into stores, where they would then buy more expensive items like push-up bras or sportswear.

Shares of L Brands, fell as much as 5.3 per cent to $46.65 in New York, the biggest drop intraday in almost two months. The stock had already plunged 25 per cent this year through the close of trading. Retailers have struggled with growing competition this year, especially in the apparel category, as shoppers migrate to e-commerce and jump from one fashion trend to another faster than ever, often leaving companies flat-footed. L Brands has now reported flat or declining same-store sales for four consecutive quarters.

 
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