Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Limited selling its apparel brands to focus on beauty and inner-wear segments

The Limited will reportedly be selling its apparel business to Schottenstein Stores Corp and Gordon Brothers Group. There is also talk about the current president of Limited's apparel group, Jay Margolis making a bid for something along the lines of a management buyout. Interestingly, what started out as an apparel company is now mostly making money from sales of innerwear and beauty products from Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, with its core apparel brands accounting for only 20% of revenues from Limited and Express. The price for the 658 Express and 260 Limited stores is said to be in the $1 billion range, but could also go to as low as $900 million and as high as $1.1 billion. Probably the sweetest part of the deal would be the company's real estate holdings which will be part of the deal.
As reported, executives at Limited Brands in recent investor meetings have said their future is Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works. During a WWD Beauty Summit in 2006, Wexner said the "best is yet to come" in the beauty business. "The next 10 years is going to make the last 20 look like a slow walk," he said. In regard to his own company, Wexner added, "We think we are going to double our beauty and cosmetics business in the next five years in the lower 48 states. We're not really excited about Hawaii and even Alaska. We're Midwesterners, and that's where we think our growth is. We think the industry is going to grow enormously."

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