Long time lingerie staple, Victoria’s Secret has been going through its fair share of ups and downs. With the recent drop in sales along with heavy criticism, its founder is stepping down and looking to sell.
L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret, will be selling 55% of its stake to a private equity firm called Sycamore Brands. L Brands will retain 45% stake, however, to “enable its shareholders to meaningfully participate in the upside potential of these businesses.”
Victoria’s Secret has been experiencing a decline in sales for some time now. They credit this downward spiral to increasing competition and changing tastes among its core demographic. But more so, the #MeToo movement is thought to have left a bad taste for many when it comes to portraying women in an overly sexual manner.
The company saw a major drop in sales over the holiday season. With all that on his back, CEO Les Wexner has decided to step down, but not without hope for the future of his brands. He will fully step down once the sale has completed.
“We believe the separation of Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, Victoria’s Secret Beauty, and PINK into a privately held company provides the best path to restoring these businesses to their historic levels of profitability and growth,” Wexner said in the statement.
On top of declining sales, Wexner has found himself in the middle of intense scrutiny recently for his ties to the late, disgraced financier Jeffery Epstein.⠀
According to Fox News, years ago, Epstein managed Wexner’s money, dating back to the late 1980s. He also helped fix finances for a real estate development backed by Wexner in a wealthy suburb of Columbus, Ohio. Wexner has said publicly that he completely severed ties with Epstein nearly 12 years ago for mishandling large amounts of his fortune.
Les Wexner is the longest-serving CEO of an S&P 500 company. He founded L Brands in 1963 with “The Limited” retail store. He is keeping busy with other development projects currently underway in Columbus.