‘I’ve got 5,000 years of history on my side,’ says Leslie Wexner, chief of parent company L Brands, who declares that the shopping mall is the brand’s future.
Victoria’s Secret is going back to the future.
As with many other fashion retailers, the most iconic of American lingerie brands has been fighting trends recently as customers turn to shopping online and more niche brands. The share price of its parent company, L Brands Inc., has collapsed by around 50% from a peak two years ago, wiping out $14 billion in shareholder value. But L Brands chief executive Leslie Wexner still thinks that the future is the physical store.
To that end, L Brands has actually increased its store count— to about 3,000 in North America —in recent years. 70% of all new investments go into opening and remodeling physical boutiques. “I don’t think [online shopping] is a new norm,” Wexner, 80 years old, told the Wall Street Journal recently. “There are times when that gets interrupted, but people want to be with other people. I’ve got 5,000 years of history on my side.”