Next buys out Victoria’s Secret UK business

The floundering beauty and lingerie brand has found a new owner, after a takeover deal with Sycamore fell through in May

Next is continuing to expand its beauty empire with a new agreement that will see the British retailer buy a majority share in Victoria’s Secret’s UK arm.

The business-saving deal will ensure the survival of the lingerie and beauty brand after a takeover deal with Sycamore was terminated due to a series of court squabbles.

Under the joint venture agreement, Victoria’s Secret’s digital business operations, which are currently operated in the US, will turn over to the UK in Spring 2021.

Meanwhile, the venture will head all of Victoria’s Secret’s UK and Ireland stores, subject to term agreements with landlords.

“We are pleased to take this next step in our profit improvement plan for Victoria’s Secret,” said L Brands’, Victoria’s Secret parent company, CEO Martin Waters.

“Next’s capabilities and experience in the UK market are substantial and our partnership will provide meaningful growth opportunities for the business.”

Simon Wolfson, Next’s CEO, also said he was “pleased” to expand Victoria’s Secret’s brand in the UK and Ireland.

As part of the agreement Next will own 51% of the business.

Next flies high

While many global retailers have reported financial difficulties during the Covid-19 pandemic, Next has been building on its footprint and specifically homing in on beauty.

In May the retailer bought five former Debenhams UK stores as it prepares to open a selection of dedicated Next Beauty Halls.

Meanwhile, last month, the fashion and homeware retailer inked a deal with Intu to open a new flagship at Debenhams’ former Watford store, which closed in June.

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