L Brands sells majority stake of Victoria’s Secrets’ UK business to British retailer Next

L Brands sells majority stake of Victoria’s Secrets’ UK business to British retailer Next

THE WHAT? L Brands has entered into a joint venture (JV) with British retailer Next, who will acquire a 51 percent majority stake in Victoria’s Secrets UK and Ireland, which is currently in administration. 

THE DETAILS The joint venture will operate all Victoria’s Secret stores in the U.K. and Ireland, subject to agreeing to terms with landlords, with L Brands retaining the remaining 49 percent. 

As per the agreement, the Victoria’s Secrets UK online business, currently operated by the U.S. arm of the brand, will be folded into the JV in Spring 2021. 

Martin Waters, CEO of L Brands International, said, “We are pleased to take this next step in our profit improvement plan for Victoria’s Secret.  Next’s capabilities and experience in the U.K. market are substantial, and our partnership will provide meaningful growth opportunities for the business.”

Meanwhile, Rob Harding, Administrator at Deloitte, highlighted the positive solution for company employees. He said, “This is an ideal way to secure the future of more than 500 employees in the U.K. We are grateful to the creditors for working with us to deliver a solution that enables this business to survive and prosper.”

THE WHY? Victoria Secret’s has been beleaguered for some time, with the new venture hoped to save it from ultimate demise in the UK through Next’s strong presence in the country’s retail market. 

Lord Simon Wolfson, Chief Executive of Next PLC, said, “Next is very pleased at the prospect of working in partnership to expand the Victoria’s Secret brand in the U.K. and Ireland both in stores and online.”

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