Victoria’s Secret is closing up to 50 more stores this year

Retailers Begin To Crumble Amid Pandemic Closures
Pedestrians wearing protective masks pass in front of a Victoria's Secret Stores LLC store, a subsidiary of L Brands Inc., in Herald Square in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, May 5, 2020. Many retailers are losing their grip with much of the economy shuttered by coronavirus lockdowns. And even as some states move to reopen, many Americans are hesitant to go back into brick-and-mortar establishments. Photographer: Nina Westervelt/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(CNN) — Victoria’s Secret is continuing to shrink its store count. Its parent company L Brands announced that it plans to permanently close between 30 to 50 stores in the United States and Canada this year.

The reduction comes after it closed 241 stores in 2020, leaving it with 848 stores across the two countries. This time a year ago, it had more than 1,100 locations.

L Brands warned last year that it would close more Victoria’s Secret locations, leaving the beleaguered lingerie retailer’s future murky after plans to spin it off fell through. L Brands still plans to offload Victoria’s Secret.

“Over the next six months, we will continue to work toward the separation of the two businesses, proceeding down a dual track to prepare for either a spin-off or a sale,” the company said in a statement.

L Brands’ stronger brand, Bath & Body Works, is expanding with the opening of about 50 stores in North America. The company said that its future will be “almost entirely” at off-mall locations and it will close 20 to 40 locations in malls. Its total store count of 1,736 in the US and Canada remains about even compared to last year.

Shares of L Brands rose slightly in premarket trading following its earnings report late Wednesday. Its fourth-quarter earnings topped analysts expectations, with strong sales at Bath & Body Works offsetting same-store declines at Victoria’s Secret.