Victoria's Secret is closing a quarter of its stores

Victoria's Secret

And even as some states move to reopen, many Americans are hesitant to go back into brick-and-mortar establishments.

Victoria's Secret is closing nearly a quarter of its North American stores network, another blow for US malls already reeling from the pandemic lockdown as the lingerie chain grapples with changing consumer tastes and financial challenges.

Victoria's Secret is slimming down - and Wall Street likes the new look.

L Brands, the retail chain's parent company, reported sales for their first quarter this year had dropped by 37% to $1.65 billion, compared to the same period for 2019.

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Victoria's Secret in its earnings statement said it had furloughed most store associates as of April 5 and reduced top management salaries by 20 percent. As the deal fell through because of the coronavirus pandemic, L Brands has now made the decision to turn Victoria's Secret into a separate, standalone company with plans to spinoff Bath & Body Works into a public company. "Some of those may be that a company is carrying too much debt, that they're too reliant perhaps on physical stores, or in some cases, it's just brands that have had trouble sort of finding their positioning for years".

About 250 Victoria's Secret Stores will permanently close, along with 50 Bath & Body Works locations. Its online sales grew 85% over past year. Sales for Bath & Body Works were $712.7 million, also down from the previous quarter, while Victoria's Secret sales were $821.5 million for Q1 2020, a decline of 46% from a year earlier.

Shares of Columbus, Ohio-based L Brands recently changed hands at $13.61, up 11.4 percent.

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