Next has reportedly been chosen as the “preferred” UK franchise partner for Victoria’s Secret the world’s largest lingerie brand and has agreed an outline deal to takeover the business on this side of the Atlantic.
Next had competition from Marks & Spencer (M&S) and a host of other rivals to secure control of the British operations of Victoria’s Secret.
Sources said that an outline deal had been agreed but that the final shape of its future retail portfolio was dependent upon Victoria’s Secret UK’s landlords agreeing to restructure its lease terms to reflect changing market conditions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Next previously said it was looking to expand its wider business by linking up with brands in multiple categories, while also opening standalones in expanding categories, such as beauty.
The future of Victoria’s Secret UK store estate is also dependent on landlords agreeing to readjust its lease terms to reflect the market conditions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The US lingerie retailer’s parent company L Brands placed its UK arm into administration on June 5, putting over 800 jobs and 25 stores at risk.
It drafted in Deloitte advisers to assess the impact of Covid-19 on business and the firm said it would conduct a “light touch” administration as it sought a potential buyer.
The administration came after Victoria’s Secret announced it would permanently close 250 stores in North America over the next few months, equating to about one quarter of its store estate in that market.
Victoria’s Secret exited the UK retail lockdown with the reopening of just a third of its stores by the end of June.