US: L Brands outlines UK and Middle East expansion plans
L Brands has outlined plans to grow its Victoria's Secret brand in the UK and Middle East as part of its international growth strategy.
Speaking on the firm's earnings call this week, vice president of international, Martin Waters, told analysts its forecast for 2014 reflects actions the company is taking to grow its business.
This, he said, includes growth in Victoria's Secret real estate, and investments in the brand's international expansion. "These actions will drive sales growth," he added.
"In the UK, we continue to be very pleased with our London flagship store on Bond Street and have recently acquired a long lease on the adjacent property to allow us to expand the selling area later this year. The four mall locations, three of which we opened in 2013, all continue to perform well. And we will open another six stores in the UK this year, continuing to build out our footprint."
In the Middle East, L Brands currently has four Victoria's Secret full assortment stores open under its partnership with Alshaya.
"We continue to be delighted with the results, and we'll open another eight to ten stores this year in that region," Waters said.
The company reported mixed results in the fourth quarter for the Victoria's Secret brand. Its stores comp increased 3% with total store sales, excluding the extra week last year, up 5%. Direct sales, however, were down 3%. Total segment sales increased to $6.7bn, but operating income declined by $56.5m to $1.1bn.
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