Victoria's Secret is cutting jobs, backing away from catalogs, and realigning merchandise categories and channels.
Parent company L Brands will reorganize the lingerie banner into three units: Victoria's Secret Lingerie, PINK and Victoria's Secret Beauty.
The retailer will refocus resources on core merchandise categories and eliminate poor performers, although management did not specify which categories will be eliminated.
Victoria's Secret's iconic catalog will be de-emphasized and direct businesses integrated around digital channels to better align with shopper behavior. Marketing and customer engagement will be primarily digital too, with loyalty programs and brand building taking the place of printed materials and traditional offers.
"Coming off a record year, now is the best time to make improvements ... going from best to even better," said Leslie Wexner, chairman and CEO. "We are making these changes to accelerate our growth and to strengthen the business for the long term by narrowing our focus and simplifying our operating model."
Victoria's Secret former CEO Sharen Jester Turney abruptly resigned earlier this year and Wexner, as head of L Brands, took over the banner.
"I am certain that these changes are necessary for our industry-leading brands to reach their significant potential," she said."Nonetheless, decisions about people are the most difficult ones to make, and we are taking care to support associates who are being affected by these changes."
Victoria's Secret will eliminate roughly 200 positions in both the Columbus and New York offices.
This isn't the first merchandise realignment for Victoria's Secret — in 2014 it discontinued selling dresses, sweaters, jeans and shoes through its direct business and focused on what management then determined were essential or core products.
- see this Bloomberg story
- see this L Brands press release
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