Limited Inc. Reports November Sales
NEW YORK (AP) _ The Limited Inc. reported Wednesday that its November sales at stores open for at least a year were up 3 percent, reflecting a decline at the Intimate Brands operation and disappointing Wall Street.
Limited, a Columbus, Ohio-based specialty retail chain, owns 84 percent of Intimate Brands, which operates the Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works stores.
Intimate Brands same-store sales were down 3 percent sales for the month.
Analysts were expecting 5 percent same-store increases for both Intimate Brands and The Limited. Same-store sales refer to sales at stores open at least a year, and are the most widely used measure of retailers’ strength.
Shares of The Limited were down 13.6 percent, or $3, at $18.93 in morning trading on The New York Stock Exchange while shares of Intimate Brands plummeted more than 17 percent, or $3.06, to $14.50.
Dorothy Lakner, an analyst at CIBC World Markets Corp., attributed the disappointing sales performance at Intimate Brands to a lackluster response to Victoria’s Secret’s Satin lingerie collection, which was pegged as a key holiday business. Customers also seem to be delaying their holiday purchases at Bath & Body Works, she said.
For the four-week period ended Nov. 25, total sales including sales at stores open for less than a year at The Limited were $869.9 million, up 4 percent from $838.8 million.
For the 43-week period ended Nov. 25, The Limited’s same-store sales were up 7 percent. Total sales were $7.41 billion, up from $7.27 billion for the same time frame. Excluding sales from Gaylan’s and Too in 1999, net sales increased 8 percent. Gaylan’s was sold, while Too was spun off last year.
At Intimate Brands, total sales were $407.3 million for the four-week period ended Nov. 25, a 2 percent increase from $400 million from the year-ago period.
Same-store sales were up 7 percent for the year-to-date. Total sales were $3.49 billion, up 12 percent, from sales of $3.1 billion for the same period.
The Limited said that it maintains its forecast of posting mid to high single digit same-store sales increases for both Intimate Brands and The Limited for the remainder of the quarter.