Corporate Sales: $12.1 billion
Beauty Sales: $4.4 billion (est.)
Key Personnel: Leslie H. Wexner, chairman and chief executive officer; Stuart B. Burgdoerfer, executive vice president and chief financial officer; Nicholas P. M. Coe, chief executive officer and president, Bath & Body Works; Charles C. McGuigan, chief operating officer.
Major Products/Brands: Bath & Body Works home fragrances and personal care; Victoria’s Secret fragrances, lip and hair care.
New Products: Victoria’s Secret Heavenly Summer, Fabulous, Angel Eau De Parfum, Angel Gold, Dark Angel; Dreamy Vanilla, Frosted Apple, Sensual Blush and Winter Cranberry body mists; Bombshell Luxe, Winter Bombshell, Love Me, Very Sexy Now 2015, Victoria’s Secret Fantasies Collection: Dream, Love Spell, Passion Struck; Fragrance Mists and 24-Hour Long Lasting Lotions.
Comments: In a year in which many retailers struggled, L Brands’ Leslie Wexner, chairman and chief executive officer, lauded his company for delivering record results “These results are a reflection of the strength of our brands and were driven by tremendous focus and execution across the enterprise,” he said. “I am very optimistic heading into 2016 and confident in our growth opportunities.”
Net sales for the year ended Jan. 30, 2016, were $12.1 billion, an increase of 6% compared to $11.4 billion for the year ended Jan. 31, 2015. Comparable store sales for the year ended Jan. 30, 2016, increased 5%.
In addition to reviving its White Barn brand candle shops, L Brands also continued the work of opening new or remodeling existing Bath & Body Works stores. Bath & Body Works’ net sales for 2015 was $3.6 billion, spanning 1,672 stores. During a conference call for stock analysts, CFO Stuart Burgdoerfer said the remodeled stores are already producing a 25% increase in sales. The work is part of a plan that includes 75 new stores and 239 remodels domestically in 2016, the completion of which bears a projected cost of $630-$700 million.
L Brands reports that it is the top U.S. brand in 10 product categories including body lotion, body cream, shower gel and hand sanitizer. It’s also the No. 1 specialty retailer for candles.
For Victoria’s Secret, the company continues to put value in its fragrances. In addition to launching new Angel and Bombshell iterations, the company also revisited the ’90s and revamped the formulas and packaging of 19 classic favorites like Love Spell, Vanilla Lace and Mango Temptation for a fresh modern re-issue alongside five new scents including Rush and Exotic. The products are sold in mist and lotion formats. To celebrate the launch, the company introduced the VS Fantasies Fragrance Studio, which not only allowed shoppers to try out the scents, but encouraged them to layer two or three scents together to create their own custom fragrance.
Like Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works also revisited some of its most loved but retired scents in 2015. The company’s limited time only Flashback Fragrance campaign temporarily brought back six customer favorites in shower gel, body lotion, body cream and fragrance mist formats, all featuring beautifully updated packaging.
News of Note in 2016
Second quarter results for L Brands have played out better than expected, with profits rising 24.7%, beating analyst estimates, though the company warned that sales trends at Victoria’s Secret could impact the growth going into the second half of 2016. The company pointed to increased digital sales for Bath & Body Works (+21%) and for Victoria’s Secret (+8%). Worth noting, L Brands is repositioning its beauty business and said it expects to see fiscal results in that segment decline as they make changes in the category. The company will also be more promotional in the beauty space, which they said will be reflected in the third-quarter gross margins.