Victoria’s Secret UK arm goes into administration

Victoria’s Secret UK arm goes into administration

The UK arm of Victoria’s Secret has fallen into administration, putting more than 800 jobs at risk.

The chain, famous for its fashion shows, has 25 shops in the UK, all of which have been shut since the virus lockdown started in March.

Administrator Deloitte said there would be no immediate redundancies as it tries to find a buyer for the chain.

Rob Harding of Deloitte said it was “yet another blow to the UK High Street” amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

But the chain had already been hit by changing consumer tastes and weakened spending.

The UK arm made an operating loss of £170m in the year to February 2019, according to the most recent filings available.

Outdated?

Last year, its annual fashion show was cancelled, with the company blaming poor television ratings.

The show launched in 1995 and was once a major pop culture event, drawing millions of viewers each year to watch its so-called “angels”.

In 2018 it saw its lowest ratings ever, drawing criticism that it was sexist, outdated and lacked diversity.

The brand’s parent company L Brands said it was important to “evolve” its marketing strategy at the time.

Victoria's Secret modelsImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe annual Victoria’s Secret fashion show launched the careers of several supermodels

The firm had already furloughed 785 workers in the UK before appointing administrators.

Deloitte described the administration as “light touch”, meaning the management are allowed to keep running the business.

It will now attempt to find another buyer for its assets, or re-negotiate rents on its High Street stores in a bid to improve the firm’s financial situation.

All its UK shops will remain shut, but none will, for the moment, be closed permanently.

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