Victoria's Secret to close 20 stores as sales weaken

L Brands shares fell more than 2 percent in early trading Friday after the parent company of Victoria’s Secret disclosed that the lingerie brand would shutter 20 stores amid sagging sales.

The company, which also owns Bath & Body Works and the Victoria’s Secret sister brand Pink, slashed its full-year earnings guidance to between $2.45 to $2.70 per share for fiscal 2018, down from a previously projected $2.70 to $3 per share. The reduction primarily stemmed from weakness in the Victoria’s Secret brand, including Pink, where sales fell 1 percent compared to the same period one year earlier.

“I'm not satisfied with this result and am very focused on improving performance at Victoria's Secret,” L Brands CFO Stuart Burgdoerfer said during an earnings call Thursday.

Pink’s sales were particularly weak, declining in the “mid-single digits,” according to company executives. Pink CEO Denise Landman confirmed during the call that she would retire from the company effective Oct. 1.

Landman pushed back on the notion that the Pink brand’s struggles stemmed from a failure to reach younger shoppers.

“I do not think nor do I think anyone in this room believes that PINK has lost its ability to connect distinctly with customers and drive excitement in our core constituency,” she said.

Burgdoerfer said the company plans to open about three Victoria’s Secret locations in North America, partially offsetting the expected 20 closures.