Plus, Levi's grows ecommerce sales 21%, Kimberly-Clark invests in Thinx and Hugo Boss lowers its full-year outlook despite online growth.

L Brands Inc., the parent of struggling lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret, is cutting about 50 jobs at the retail chain’s headquarters as its tries to right the ship.

L Brands, No. 39 in the Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000, is laying off about 14% of Victoria’s Secret’s corporate staff in New York City and Columbus, Ohio, according to a person familiar with the move.

Separately, the chain has lost its head of store operations, April Holt, who is departing for personal reasons, L Brands spokeswoman Tammy Roberts Myers said. Holt, who was with L Brands for 16 years, will be replaced on an interim basis by senior vice president of store operations Becky Behringer, she said.

“Everything is on the table, including having the right talent in the right places,” Roberts Myers said by email.

The reshuffle comes one month after L Brands laid out a multipart plan to reconnect with Victoria’s Secret customers, who have increasingly turned to rivals such as Aerie, owned by American Eagle Outfitters Inc. (No. 70), that embrace female empowerment and diverse body types. Investors and analysts have questioned whether the chain’s current leadership can revive the brand.


Holt’s departure is “another signal that the company’s turnaround strategy is failing to gain traction,” Jefferies analyst Randal Konik said.

The New York Times was the first to report the layoffs.

In other earnings news:

  • Levi Strauss & Co. (No. 232) grew ecommerce sales 21% for its fiscal third quarter ended Aug. 25, compared with the same period last year. It didn’t break out ecommerce revenue for the quarter, but for the first three quarters, revenue from its direct-to-consumer online sales reached $209.8 million, or 5% of total revenue, up 31.6% from $159.4 million, 4% of total revenue, during the same period in 2018.
  • Period panty maker Thinx Inc. (No. 429) raised $25 million from consumer packaged goods giant Kimberly-Clark Corp. Kimberly-Clark is behind Kotex brand tampons and pads, which customers can replace or augment with Thinx and other menstrual blood-absorbing underwear. The funding will help Thinx get into big-box stores like Target Corp. (No. 16) and Walmart Inc. (No. 3), and introduce a lower-priced version of its marquee product, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
  • Fashion clothing brand Hugo Boss AG, No. 300 in the Internet Retailer Europe 500, grew online sales 16% for the second quarter ended Oct. 10, but it did not break out exact figures. The clothing maker also said online platforms and marketplaces have grown significantly during the quarter, outpacing online sales at department stores. By the end of the quarter, more than 20% of Hugo Boss’ online sales come through its own site, with the rest coming through marketplaces or other retailers’ online stores, Hugo Boss announced. However, the suit maker cut its full-year outlook overall as sales to the U.S. and Hong Kong falter.