Top Companies Report

11. Limited Brands

June 28, 2012

Columbus, OH
Sales: $2.9 billion (estimated) for home fragrance and personal care products.
Corporate sales: $10.3 billion. Net income: $850 million for the year ended Jan. 28, 2012.

Key Personnel: Leslie H. Wexner, chairman and chief executive officer; Stuart Burgdoerfer, executive vice president and chief financial officer; Nicholas Coe, chief executive officer, Bath & Body Works; Charles C. McGuigan, chief operating officer; Jane L. Ramsey, executive vice president, human resources; Martyn R. Redgrave, executive vice president and chief administrative officer; Sharen Jester Turney, chief executive officer and president, Victoria’s Secret.

Major Products: Bath & Body Works—Signature Collection, antibacterial and home fragrance product lines; Victoria’s Secret—Secret Garden, Beauty Rush, Dream Angels, Incredible by Victoria’s Secret, VS Attractions, Sexy Little Things, Very Sexy, Bombshell and Pink fragrances and VS Makeup.

New Products: Bath & Body Works—American Boardwalk candle collection, Malibu Heat body care; Victoria’s Secret Beauty—Rush glossy lip tints.

Comments: Corporate sales rose 8% last year and comparable store sales increased 10%. Net income increased nearly 6%. Gross profit jumped 130 basis points to 39.1% of net sales. Victoria’s Secret sales rose 11% and Bath & Body Works sales rose 6%. The company credited the increase in B&BW’s sales to growth in the Signature Collection, home fragrance and antibacterial categories, partially offset by a decline in gift set business.

Last year, the number of company-owned retail stores (Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, La Senza, Henri Bendel) totaled 2,941, a decline of 27 units from the previous year. During the year, the company opened 40 stores and closed 67 stores in North America. Elsewhere, The Limited and its partners opened 40 more Victoria’s Secret Beauty and Accessories stores bringing the total to 57 with plans to add 75 more stores in 2012. Twelve B&BW stores were opened in the Middle East last year, bringing the total to 18. The Limited’s partners plan to open 32 more stores this year.

At the 2012 Fragrance Foundation FiFi Awards, Victoria’s Secret Beauty’s Angel scent won two awards: Broad Appeal Women and Consumer’s Choice. Meanwhile, B&BW took home the Consumer’s Choice award in the men’s category for Bath & Body Works Signature Collection for Men Classic.

According to a recent Piper Jaffray consumer poll, Victoria’s Secret remains the preferred fragrance for upper-income and average-income teens. It marks the ninth time in a row that Victoria’s Secret has topped the Piper Jaffray survey. According to the study, beauty spending by upper-income teens increased 8% sequentially and 6% year-over-year. For average-income teens, beauty spending increased 21% sequentially and 18% year-over-year.

Nicholas Coe was elected president and CEO of Bath & Body Works in August 2011.

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