After years of being called "fatphobic" by people across the U.S. (among other delegations), Victoria's Secret is changing its tune. What's the company's goal? Victoria's Secret wants to be more in line with making women feel good about themselves and focus less on what men want.
So no, Victoria's Secret isn't going out of business, but the intricacies of the business are about to change in a big way.
Victoria's Secret closed hundreds of stores in the last few years.
In 2020, Victoria's Secret closed more than 400 physical storefronts to cut costs and focus on its flagship locations and e-commerce operations. By the time 2021 rolled around, the company closed an additional 30–50 stores in the U.S. and Canada.
If Victoria's Secret manages to execute all of the closures, it will have less than 800 stores left.
Victoria's Secret is on a different path than Bath & Body Works. While they're both currently operating under the same parent company, Bath & Body Works is expected to open 49 new locations this year in the U.S. and Canada, which will bring the total store count in the region close to 1,800.
Victoria's Secret is going public on its own as it spins off from parent company.
Victoria's Secret plans to split from its publicly traded parent company, L Brands Inc. (NYSE:LB).
Victoria's Secret CEO Martin Walters said in a presentation, "We lost relevance with the modern woman. And she told us very clearly to change our focus from how people look to how people feel—from being about what he wants to being about what she wants."
The spin-off hasn't been finalized just yet. However, corporate executives have made the information public for investors. Following the split, Victoria's Secret will change its official name to Victoria's Secret & Co. and list as a public company under the ticker symbol "VSCO" (which just so happens to be the exact name of a popular photo editing tool, a fact that may or may not confuse young Millennials and Gen Z folks).
Meanwhile, LB will change its ticker to "BBWI" to reflect its remaining flagship subsidiary, Bath & Body Works.
What's next for Victoria's Secret as it spins off from parent company and debuts its own listing?
According to an L Brands press release about the spin-off, "Victoria’s Secret has no history of operating as an independent company, and its historical combined and unaudited pro forma financial information is not necessarily representative of the results that it would have achieved as an independent, publicly traded company."
That fact is true, but with growing obsolescence, it's a now or never moment for Victoria's Secret. Investors don't have much time until the VSCO listing to witness the corporate change in real time. However, the company's goals are in line with the competitive market (including ThirdLove and Cuup), so many traders might be willing to make the bet that Victoria's Secret will, in fact, be an advocate for all types of women.