Between the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in early December and its bulked-up holiday advertising — including, this year, a commercial directed by Michael Bay — it's abundantly clear that America's most high-profile lingerie brand takes its marketing very seriously at the tail end of the year.
So, did Victoria's Secret special combination of broadcast events, body oil and Taylor Swift cameos make the good citizens of planet Earth want to buy all of the things? The label's parent company, L Brands, reported Thursday that during the five weeks that ended January 3, comparable store sales did in fact get a 3 percent bump — the same rate of growth as last year. Not bad for a brand that's so widespread in its home market.
As far as finding ways to fuel growth goes, Victoria's Secret really hasn't tapped into its full international potential yet, although taking the fashion show to London this year is a pretty strong statement of interest in capturing that market. At this point it has nine stores operating in the UK; according to Forbes, the seven it had up and running in September were grossing over $100 million.
L Brands also owns Bath & Body works, which actually has more store locations than Victoria's Secret at this point (1,649 relative to 1,141) and saw a bit more growth in December, along with La Senza and Henri Bendel. While L Brands doesn't break out individual companies' sales figures, it's safe to say that Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works vastly out-contribute their siblings.
Taken all together, the company raked in $2.2 billion in sales for that five-week period, about $102 million more than last year. And same-store sales grew 5 percent, up from the 2 percent they'd increased between December 2012 and 2013. That's good.