Bath & Body Works sales continue to grow

Columbus Business First

COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST)–Bath & Body Works’ hot sales streak continues.

The Columbus-based personal care and beauty retailer Wednesday reported sales of $1.70 billion in the second quarter. That’s not only a jump on the Covid-19-impacted sales of $1.25 billion in second quarter of 2020, when many of the chain’s stores were closed, it’s also a 54% increase on the pre-Covid sales of second quarter 2019.

CEO Andrew Meslow, in a Thursday morning call with stock analysts, said the sales gains were across multiple product categories and happened with fewer promotions, making for stronger profits on those sales.

Bath & Body Works has seen its customer count grow now for four consecutive quarters in the past 12 months. The good news, according to the company, is that the spending habits of the new shoppers are similar to those who’ve long bought from the business.

Meslow said digital sales in the quarter were in line with company expectations while store sales were slightly higher. Digital sales were up 128% in the quarter compared with the pre-Covid second quarter 2019, while in-store sales were up 39% over that same stretch.

He also said that one concern ahead is that the company will be lapping a good second half of 2020 that had record low promotions. He expects promotions to be up in the second half of 2021.

“The remainder of 2021 isn’t going to be easy,” Meslow said. “We’re optimistic about our plans though.”

The results were the last quarter the brand spent as part of L Brands. As of Aug. 3 Bath & Body Works is a stand-alone public company. Victoria’s Secret also reported its quarterly results Wednesday. Columbus Business First recently took a look what that split could mean for the futures of both companies.

Total sales for the former L Brands in that last quarter together were $3.31 billion, up from $2.31 billion in second quarter 2020 and up 14% from the $2.90 billion in the same period in 2019.

Net income was $374.2 million, versus a $49.6 million loss in second quarter 2020, while earnings per share were a record $1.34 versus this quarter compared with 18 cents in second quarter of 2020.

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