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Shareholder Filed Lawsuit Alleging Victoria's Secret Has 'Toxic Culture Of Sexual Harassment'

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Shareholder Filed Lawsuit Alleging Victoria's Secret Has 'Toxic Culture Of Sexual Harassment'

A complaint filed by shareholder John Giarratano Thursday alleges that L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB) owned Victoria’s Secret did not share records requested in February, the complainant claimed a culture of sexual harassment exists at the company. 

What Happened

Giarratano requested to inspect the books of the lingerie retailer in February after the New York Times published a report on the company’s culture of bullying and harassment.

The shareholder wanted to investigate any wrongdoings by Victoria’s Secret or its board. 

In his complaint, Giarratano stated that Victoria’s Secret had a “toxic culture of sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation,” for years," reported CNBC. 

Why It Matters

According to CNBC, the lingerie brand has fallen out of favor with customers. Factors affecting the loss of appeal include ties of the former L Brands CEO Les Wexner to Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender. 

L Brands suffered a setback in May when Sycamore Partners terminated a transaction agreement related to purchasing an interest in Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, Victoria’s Secret Beauty, and PINK. 

L Brands is planning to close 250 Victoria’s Secret stores across the United States and Canada, it was reported in May. The company has a total of 1,091 stores, including the PINK brand, as of February in North America. 

During the first quarter, ended May 2, 2020, Victoria Secret’s same-store sales fell 13%, while another L Brands’ retailer Bath & Body Works saw sales surge 41%.

L Brands’s first-quarter net sales fell 37% to $1.65 billion from $2.63 billion.

Price Action

L Brands shares traded 0.73% lower at $17.72 in the after-hours session on Thursday. The shares had closed the regular session 2.51% lower at $17.85.

Image: Victoria's Secret

 

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