Bath & Body Works carries L Brands to new heights with record performance for Q4

The thriving beauty business has benefited from the uptick in self-care during the pandemic

Beauty owner L Brands has reported a 10% increase in comparable sales for Q4, ended 30 January 2021, across store and direct channels.

Net sales reached US$4.8bn, compared with net sales of $4.7bn for Q4 ended 1 February 2020, thanks primarily to a 22% boost in sales at Bath & Body Works for the quarter.

In a repeat of history, the bath and body brand also carried the US conglomerate through Q3, reporting a 56% uptick in comparable sales, a record for the group, as demand for self-care products increased in popularity.

Victoria’s Secret however, the group’s problem child, saw a 3% downturn in sales for the quarter.

But the beauty and fashion brand’s 4% uptick in sales for Q3 was able to put Victoria’s Secret in the black, posting a 1% increase in sales for the full year.

Overall, L Brands wrote down a 21% improvement in comparable sales for the year, compared with 2019.

DTC drives sales

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent closure of bricks-and-mortar, direct-to-consumer (DTC) selling has been the most popular shopping method for consumers.

True for L Brands, 74% of Bath & Body Works sales were made through direct channels, while Victoria’s Secret’s were up 33%.

“Following on our record third quarter results, the exceptional efforts and execution of our team has enabled us to deliver another record performance in the fourth quarter,” said L Brands’ CEO Andrew Meslow.

“We experienced consistent strength at Bath & Body Works along with continued significant improvement in performance at Victoria’s Secret.

“Looking forward, we remain focused on our strategy to deliver compelling merchandise and experiences to our customers while maintaining a safe environment.”

He added: “At the same time, we continue to move ahead in our plans to separate our two business.”

L Brands has earmarked August for the separation of its businesses, cutting off struggling Victoria’s Secret from its overperforming Bath & Body Works.

Martin Water, Victoria’s Secret’s Lingerie CEO, will take the helm of the business upon the separation.

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