Victoria’s Secret owner L Brands plans to slash about 850 corporate jobs as the lingerie chain grapples with a downturn in sales.
The Ohio-based company announced the layoffs — which amount to roughly 15 percent of its corporate workforce — on Tuesday under a plan to cut about $400 million in annual costs as it prepares to spin off its Bath & Body Works brand.
“Decisions relating to our workforce are incredibly difficult and not taken lightly, but these actions are necessary to best position our company for the long-term,” L Brands CEO Andrew Meslow said in a statement.
L Brands has taken a hit amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced retailers across the country to shutter stores. The company said Victoria’s Secret sales likely plunged about 40 percent in the second quarter, offsetting a roughly 10 percent rise at Bath & Body Works — which managed to reopen some Ohio stores despite a COVID-19 lockdown, as The Post has reported.
L Brands is also negotiating with landlords, managing inventory and closing 250 Victoria’s Secret stores this year under its cost-cutting plan, which it expects to achieve some $175 million in savings in the 2020 fiscal year. The company also expects to record about $75 million in pre-tax severance costs related to the layoffs.
L Brands — founded by billionaire retail tycoon Leslie Wexner — announced plans in February to turn Bath & Body Works into a separate, publicly traded company and sell Victoria’s Secret to private equity firm Sycamore Partners. The sale was scrapped in May after Sycamore objected to Victoria’s Secret closing its stores amid the pandemic.
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