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L-Brands Split: The New Company (VSCO)

August 5, 2021

L-Brands Split: The New Company (VSCO)

Earlier this week, L Brands (formerly $LB) completed a spin-off of what was once its flagship brand: Victoria’s Secret.
Now that Victoria’s Secret & Co. (VSCO) has begun trading as a standalone company, we can finally pass judgement on the brand by itself…And, the outlook is mixed.
Consumer Demand for Victoria’s Secret has suffered from a steady decline over the past few years, currently trending -30% YoY (90d MA).

The brand recently shifted its marketing strategy in a big way. The resulting PI surge has been impressive (+52% QoQ) but it came alongside a -13% decline in Consumer Happiness. Early indications suggest it was a short-lived controversy, but we can't be sure of the long-term ramifications.
VSCO shares have enjoyed a substantial increase since making their trading debut on Monday, up approximately +25% on investor optimism. Regardless, we've still got a lot of questions about this newly-formed company.

Can Bath & Body Works Continue to Shine? (BBWI)

For several years, Likefolio has praised the underlying mention growth of the ‘Bath & Body Works’ brand, as it has served as a stark contrast to the troubled Victoria’s Secret. Now, the company formerly known as L Brands (LB) has rebranded as Bath & Body Works Inc. (BBWI), finally giving the home goods brand a chance to shine on its own…Just in time for a significant Demand pullback.
Purchase Intent Mentions for Bath & Body Works are down significantly from the 2020 ATHs: -50% YoY on a 90-day moving average.

Although the drawdown in Demand is troubling, it bears remembering that 2020 was an anomalously good year for companies in the home goods space, as consumers trapped at home were far more inclined to purchase and appreciate specialty candles and soap. BBWI's first true test as a standalone company is approaching: Holiday Season 2021.
We'll be watching closely to see if the brand can continue to shine (without VS there to make it look better).

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