Intimate apparel retailer Limited Brands (NYSE:LTD) reported comparable store sales growth of 6% for the four weeks ended April 28, 2012, compared to the same period last year.  While April sales managed to beat market expectations, we believe it was a so-so performance from the company as the comparable sales growth was significantly less than its 20% last year. Victoria’s Secret was once again the major growth driver for the company with a 8% comparable sales increase. Limited Brands is a specialty apparel retailer focused on lingerie, beauty and personal care products, and it competes with Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE:ANF), American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO), Ann (NYSE:ANN) and Gap (NYSE:GPS).
Reasons behind April’s Performance
April remained a tough month for most of the apparel retailers. While Limited did manage to post positive comparable sales, its competitor Gap’s April performance slumped with a negative 2% comparable sales. We believe the early Easter and an unusually cold April were the primary reason for a drab April performance across the board in apparel industry.
Talking in terms of brands, Victoria’s Secret continues to remain the primary growth driver for Limited Brands. Additionally, the company’s other major brand Bath & Body Works also carried forward the momentum with a comparable sales increase of 4%. However, La Senza, the company’s intimate apparel brand in Canada, registered a steep decline with a negative comparable sales of 5% compared to negative 1% last year.Notes: