Limited Brands (L Brands) was founded in 1963 in Columbus, Ohio by Leslie H. Wexner. Limited Brands headquarters remain in Columbus while they also have offices in New York, Kettering, Ohio, Hong Kong, Montreal, Quebec, Paramus, New Jersey, and Rio Rancho and New Mexico. Limited Brands is a specialty retailer that focuses on lingerie, beauty, and personal care products that make consumers feel young, sexy, and sophisticated. In 2016, the company's global net sales amounted to approximately 12.6 billion U.S. dollars. These figures have been generated through the brands such as Victoria's Secret, Bath and Body Works, Victoria's Secret PINK, C.O. Bigelow, White Barn Candle Co., La Senza, and Henri Bendel.
Victoria's Secret is the biggest brand within this company's portfolio. Victoria's Secret markets products such as bras, panties, clothing, accessories, fragrances, lotions, cosmetics, swimwear, and athletic attire. They market their products through two segments: Victoria's Secret stores and Victoria's Secret Direct (web and catalogue) which sells to customers in over 200 countries. As of 2016, there are over 1,500 Victoria's Secret stores operating in the United States, 46 locations throughout Canada as well as 18 stores in the United Kingdom.
Before growing internationally, Limited Brands main focus will be on domestic growth. L Brands goal is for Victoria's Secret to blossom into a multi-billion dollar brand, but the global financial crisis, decline in consumer confidence, and poor performance of the La Senza business in Canada have conspired to delay this growth strategy for the bra-and-panty business. The strategy at Victoria's Secret is to capture the teen and college-age female customer with its youth-oriented PINK brand (launched 2004), with the hope that as girls mature, they will shop for sexier styles, such as Angels and Very Sexy, which is sold in Victoria's Secret stores. PINK is sold in freestanding stores as well as Victoria's Secret shops. However, the brand is meeting stiff competition from American Eagle's Aerie brand and Gilly Hicks by Abercrombie & Fitch, which both target the youth market.
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