Top Companies Report

11. Limited Brands

July 7, 2009

Columbus, OH
Sales: $2.7 billion

Sales: $2.7 billion (estimated) for Bath & Body Works, White Barn and Victoria’s Secret personal care and home fragrance products. Corporate sales: $9 billion. Net income: $220 million for the year ended Jan. 31, 2009.

Key Personnel: Leslie H. Wexner, chairman and chief executive officer; Martyn R. Redgrave, executive vice president and chief administrative officer; Diane L. Neal, executive vice president and chief financial officer; Jane L. Ramsey, chief executive officer, Bath and Body Works; Sharen Jester Turney, chief executive officer and president, Victoria’s Secret megabrand and intimate apparel; Stuart B. Burgdoerfer, executive vice president, chief financial officer; Shashi Batra, president, Victoria’s Secret Beauty.

Major Brands: Victoria’s Secret Beauty fragrances, skin care and cosmetics, including Secret Garden Collection, Naturally Victoria’s Secret, Parfums Intimes, Beauty Rush, Dream Angels, Sexy Little Things, Very Sexy, Vertical and Victoria’s Secret Pink. Bath & Body Works personal care, beauty and home fragrance products marketed under the Bath & Body Works, C.O. Bigelow and The White Barn Candle Company.

Very Sexy Dare is a new scent from Victoria’s Secret.
New Products: Naturally Victoria’s Secret Violet & Jasmine collection, Secret Garden Sexy-Bac sanitizing hand gel, Beauty Rush Limited Edition Pool Party; Sexy Little Things Noir; Parfums Intimes Collection (Cashmere, Lace, Satin and Silk); Dream Angels Heavenly Bloom; Pink Body natural body care products.

Comments: Corporate sales fell 11% and net income tumbled nearly 70%. Sales at Bath & Body Works fell 5% to less than $2.4 billion. The company blamed the strengthening recession and declines in its Signature Collection, which were offset partially by increases in the aromatherapy, True Blue Spa and home fragrance categories.

With sales falling and no sign of recovery, Limited Brands initiated a restructuring program in December that included the elimination of approximately 400 positions (10%) of the company’s corporate and home office headcount.

In 2009, the company expects to open about 20 new Bath & Body Works stores in Canada.

At the FiFi Awards in May, Victoria’s Secret Beauty’s Sexy Little Things Noir eau de parfum won Fragrance of the Year in the Women’s Private Label Direct Sell category.

During the company’s annual meeting, chairman and CEO Leslie H. Wexner said the company’s decision to take a defensive position in 2008 enabled it to make progress. Still, first quarter revenues declined 10.4% to $1.7 billion and net income plunged 97% to about $98 million.

Next month, Victoria’s Secret will give its Very Sexy makeup line a makeover. The line is being rebranded as VS Makeup and will boast new formulas, new packaging and a broader array of colors.

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