Bath & Body Works has announced plans to increase sales and gain new customers through overseas expansion and a broader product range.
In anticipation of Father's Day, the retailer has added products for men's grooming. The company also plans to introduce more sustainable formulas and launch hair care products in 560 stores and online in July.
The company's first-quarter sales fell 3.7% to $1.4 billion, and e-commerce sales in the U.S. and Canada fell 12%. The company's press release showed that net income fell 47.7% to $81 million. Chief Financial Officer Wendy Arlin said gross profit fell 340 basis points to 43%.
During the quarter, the company opened 16 new stores outside North America and permanently closed eight stores, mostly inside malls. The brand opened nine new stores outside North America and ended the first quarter with 436 stores.
During the pandemic, customers actively turned to Bath & Body Works for detergents, disinfectants and candles. However, the decline in demand for these items has forced the retailer to look for ways to grow actively.
According to Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData, this is especially difficult when consumers face rising prices for basic goods and uncertainty about the economy, which prevents them from spending money. Already a leader in many areas of consumer products, perfumes and candles, the company is now directing its attention to new areas, including the men's business.
"Going forward we expect more new launches and initiatives as Bath & Body Works looks to bolster its already successful core business," he said in emailed comments. "Thankfully, the new ideas are not coming at the expense of the existing business. We remain impressed by the regular refreshes of the range at Bath & Body Works and the strong seasonally-relevant merchandising across stores and online."
CEO Gina Boswell, who moved from Unilever in December, said the company's new loyalty plan, introduced last summer, now has 37 million members. Sales through the program accounted for about two-thirds of the company's U.S. sales.
22 MAY 2023, USA