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Victoria's Secret's Panty Product Performance Goes Negative For First Time Since The Recession

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Victoria's Secret's Panty Product Performance Goes Negative For First Time Since The Recession

Analysts at Jefferies discovered an un-sexy trend in L Brands Inc (NYSE: LB) that could hurt the stock. The firm's Randal Konik maintains an Underperform rating on L Brands' stock with an unchanged $30 price target after sales of panties declined for the first time in a "LONG time."

During the second-quarter, sales of panties at the core Victoria's Secret store fell, marking the first time it has done so since the Great Recession, Konik noted in a research report. Panties are a very big business for the company at just $1 billion, not including PINK and international, which means investors have reason to be concerned.

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"Bra sales tend to drive a high level of attachment purchases to matching panties," the analyst explained. "Sales of traditional bras [are] under pressure (offset by unit growth in sport and bralettes) and we do not see a turn NT."

Competition may have played a role in the weakness, which is also a concern since the panty category doesn't have a high degree of loyalty as fashion and price are among top priorities, the analyst added.

Meanwhile, the company's VS brand boasts a 21-percent market-leading share in the panty category, nearly double the No. 2 player. As such, this indicates that the company has "plenty of market share to lose."

Finally, weakness in panties could also be a sign that consumers are "tired of the ultra sexy looks and unrealistic beauty standards" and are instead flocking to competing retailers who are prioritizing comfort and function instead.

Bottom line, the company may think that its problems can be cured through a "quick fix," but the analyst believes this is a "broader issue which will not be quickly fixed."

Related Links:

L Brands: 4 Reasons For Concern

Is It Time To Buy The Dip In L Brands?

Latest Ratings for LB

DateFirmActionFromTo
Mar 2021Credit SuisseMaintainsUnderperform
Feb 2021Credit SuisseMaintainsNeutral
Feb 2021Morgan StanleyUpgradesEqual-WeightOverweight

View More Analyst Ratings for LB
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