Victoria’s Secret shifts its focus to digital

April 8, 2016 10:23 AM

Victoria’s Secret will cut hundreds of jobs as it shifts the focus of its direct-to-consumer business to digital from its printed catalogs.

Parent company L Brands Inc., No. 28 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide, on Thursday said it will cut a combined 200 jobs at the Columbus, Ohio, and New York offices of Victoria’s Secret. The move comes as L Brands tries to reposition Victoria’s Secret Direct, which includes catalog and online sales, “to align how customers engage with the brands, evolving how the business connects with customers through more focus on loyalty programs and brand-building engagement rather than traditional catalogs and offers,” the company says.

“We are making these changes to accelerate our growth and to strengthen the business for the long term by narrowing our focus and simplifying our operating model,” L Brands founder and CEO Leslie Wexner says. “I am certain that these changes are necessary for our industry-leading brands to reach their significant potential.” Wexner took over as CEO of Victoria’s Secret in February after Sharon Jester Turney resigned from her position for personal reasons.

L Brands, which also owns personal care products retailer Bath & Body Works, does not break out online sales in its earnings report. In its 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in March, the company reported that Victoria’s Secret Direct revenue was $1.560 billion in fiscal 2015, which ended on Jan. 30, 2016, up 3.5% from $1.507 billion in fiscal 2014. Victoria’s Secret Direct accounted for 12.8% of L Brands’ total revenue in fiscal 2015, compared to 13.2% in the year-ago period.

In its 10-K, L Brands writes that it has scaled back its spending on advertising and catalogs to $414 million in 2015 from $452 million in 2013, a decline in spending of 8.4%.




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