Local ShoppingBath & Body Works loyalty members now make up 75% of US...

Bath & Body Works loyalty members now make up 75% of US sales

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Dive Brief:

  • Bath & Body Works reported Wednesday that Q2 net sales fell 3.6% to $1.56 billion from $1.62 billion a year ago. Operating income for the quarter was $188 million, down 22% from last year, while net income was $99 million, down nearly 18% year over year.
  • Executives said on a call with analysts that the company’s recent launch of a men’s grooming offering is exceeding expectations. Bath & Body Works is also continuing an initiative to open more off-mall stores.
  • Bath & Body Works provided third-quarter guidance and updated its full-year guidance to reflect better-than-expected Q2 results. In Q3, the company expects net sales to fall 2.5% to 4% from $1.6 billion last year, and net sales for the year are expected to fall 1.5% to 3.5% compared to $7.56 billion in 2022.

Dive Insight:

Bath & Body Works has several initiatives underway that are intended to elevate the brand, drive customer engagement, enable a seamless omnichannel experience and enhance operational excellence, CEO Gina Boswell said Wednesday.

Boswell said one of those customer engagement initiatives is the company’s customer loyalty program, which launched a year ago.

Boswell said the program has 38 million members and that loyalty program-related sales represent three-quarters of U.S. sales since its launch. The company also recently completed its national rollout of buy online, pick up in store. BOPIS orders increased 25% in the second quarter and approximately 30% of BOPIS customers made an additional purchase in the store when they picked up their order, Boswell said.

“We’re still in the early innings of our loyalty program and we are confident in our ability to drive more sales and improve merchandise margin while attracting more customers to the program,” Boswell told investors and analysts on the earnings call.

Sales in the company’s body care segment increased slightly versus last year, which is a sequential improvement from the previous quarter, according to President Julie Rosen. She said body care was propelled by growth in key segments that include travel and the men’s business, “which posted a double-digit sales increase this quarter and remains one of our fastest growing product lines as we add new forms and merchandising ideas.”

Bath & Body Works launched its men’s grooming lineup early in Q2. Rosen said the offering has performed well and is exceeding expectations. This month, Rosen said the company will launch its laundry line. And in September, the company plans to expand further into the men’s sector by offering men’s hair and shaving products.

“We’re very excited about the growth of our men’s business as it is bringing in new customers to our brands and also garnering the attention of younger customers,” Rosen said. In contrast, Rosen said sales in the company’s home fragrance and soap and sanitizer categories have both declined since last year as post-pandemic normalization trends continue. Sales for the home fragrance and soaps and sanitizers categories collectively represent about half of the Bath & Body Works business, Rosen said.

Chief Financial Officer Eva Boratto, who joined the company earlier this month, said Bath & Body Works ended Q2 with total inventory dollars down 16% compared to last year. As the company heads into the second half of the year, Boratto said inventory levels “are well positioned and our overall real estate portfolio remains very healthy with 99% of the fleet profitable and stores significantly outperforming pre-pandemic levels.”

Boratto also said that the company continues to increase its off-mall presence with the opening of 30 new off-mall stores in North America during the quarter and the permanent closure of 17 stores, many of which were in malls. Overall, Bath & Body Works said it had 1,823 stores in the U.S. and Canada as of July 29.

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