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Victoria's Secret won't make it unless it reinvents itself: expert

Jennifer Shanker
Production Assistant

Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands ( LB ) owes a major thank you to subsidiary, Bath & Body Works, whose same-store sales growth helped the company beat analyst expectations.

“Bath & Body Works are what’s driving the bus right now. Their same store sales are up. Their e-commerce is up. They are a very healthy business,” said Jon Reily, Publicis Sapient EVP of Retail and E-Commerce, on YFi AM this morning.

Victoria’s Secret’s, however, has been slow to pick up on the changing tides within the industry, mainly the birth of the athleisure trend.

“Their sales are down. They’re not really doing well e-commerce, and I think Victoria’s Secret is struggling from social constructs changing of what’s acceptable for stores to be selling and the appearance of what stores are selling,” said Reily.

A Victoria's Secret store and a Bath & Body Works store, both part of the Limited Brands corporation, are open and waiting for customers. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

The priorities of the average consumer have shifted. High fashion and runway styles have become an afterthought as shoppers are now more concerned with comfort, which has lead to the rise in athleisure. Victoria’s Secret has been slow to adapt to these changes and shift its marketing strategies.

“Their store looks virtually the same as it did two years ago, before this large social movement,” Reily said. “Victoria’s Secret has to find a way to reinvent themselves, or they’re not going to make it.”

It remains to be seen if L Brands will further separate Bath & Body Works from Victoria’s Secret, similar to how Gap ( GPS ) has distanced itself from its Old Navy subsidiary .

Jennifer is an associate editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @shankerjennifer

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