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Victoria's Secret's quarterly loss grows 6 times bigger — it badly needs a new leader

Thursday, November 21, 2019 by Robinhood Snacks |
_Taking off a bra is easier than taking out a bra CEO_

Taking off a bra is easier than taking out a bra CEO

Nothing silky smooth about it... L Brands, which owns Victoria's Secret, just announced (another) depressing quarter of business: Its loss ballooned by over 6 times to $252M. L Brands' plus-sized loss is the combination of 2 key brands:

  • The Good: Its Bath & Body Works chain's skincare lineup keeps having a moment — sales rose 11% last quarter.
  • The Bad: Victoria's Secret sales sank 8% as bralettes replace pushup bras.
  • Overall: Vicky's makes up 57% of L Brands' sales — that has an impact.

American dream (but also awkward/uncomfortable)... Les Wexner, a son of Russian immigrants, founded L Brands in Ohio in 1963. Awesome. But he's still the CEO — an 82-year-old man decides what panties should be sold with PINK scripted across the butt. The rejection of uber-sexified models lately has sunk the stock by 85% in the past 4 years.

THE TAKEAWAY

It's time for some shareholder activism... Wexner is inextricably linked to Victoria's Secret as long as he's CEO (btw - he's also Chairman of the board). He represents the off-brand, out-of-touch past. Replacing him with someone who actually reflects women today could save Vicky. We've seen that happen before:

  • Papa John's booted founder John Schnatter after a racial slur — Shaq is the new face, and shares are up 50% this year.
  • Weight Watchers was beaten by paleo/keto/Atkins — Oprah rejuvenated the brand as an investor and spokeswoman.