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L Brands Inc., the proprietor of Victoria Secret and Bath & Body Works, announced the structural shift in a memo to employees from the company’s CEO Les Wexner.
In the post- #MeToo Age when traditional beauty standards are being redefined, the standard for traditional beauty set by iconic Victoria Secret Angels has been perceived by consumers as tone-deaf. Meanwhile body positive brands like American Eagle’s Aerie has seen a surge in sales as they tout their untouched and ‘real’ marketing.
The brand announced its annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show was canceled after the last show in December earned the worst ratings in its nearly 20-year broadcast history. The company also sought to distance itself from Jeffery Epstein accused child sex-trafficker, who was previously connected to CEO Wexner.
On Friday, openly transgender Brazilian model Valentina Sampaio posted on Instagram that she will appear in Victoria’s Secret Pink campaign, but many commented the company move towards inclusivity was too little, too late.
Shares of the Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works owner, lost 12.4 percent in value in the first quarter, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Comparable-store sales were flat as Victoria's Secret comp sales declined by 5 percent, according to the same report. Earnings per share were $0.14, down from $0.17 at the same time.
The company has taken measures in previous years to offset losses. In 2016, the company reintroduced swimwear after a $500 million devastating drop in revenue.
Wexner announced that SVP of Brand and Creative Ed Wolf will serve as interim head of Brand and Creative and Bob Campbell, VP, Creative will serve as interim head of VS Creative for the lingerie giant in the meantime.
Razek said in his note to the company that he would be retiring and that he’s “loved coming to work here, every single day, for many, many years. But all good things must and do, inevitably come to an end."