British multinational clothing retailer Next has been selected as the intended UK franchise partner for Victoria’s Secret by the brand’s administrators.
A Next partnership would give Victoria’s Secret UK access to a sophisticated digital and delivery capacity and the chance to partner with Next’s property team to bolster expansion within the territory.
The deal is currently awaiting confirmation pending the brand’s store landlords agreeing to key lease restructures, taking into account the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on sales. The firm has, however, secured an exclusivity agreement to take the brand that is guaranteed until the end of September. Some of the brand’s 25 stores in the UK could be permanently shuttered.
Next currently holds apparel brands Abercrombie & Fitch, Boss and Under Armour within its portfolio. According to media reports in the UK, Next pipped department-store chain M&S to become the preferred franchise partner.
Victoria’s Secret UK collapsed into administration last month. The US parent L Brands has launched a strategic review of the brand’s presence in China, which has already resulted in the closure of the Hong Kong flagship store. In the US, L Brands plans to close about 250 stores to right-size the business.
Source: Inside Retail Asia