“We believe the separation of Victoria’s Secret Lingerie, Victoria’s Secret Beauty and PINK into a privately held company provides the best path to restoring these businesses to their historic levels of profitability and growth,” said Wexner in a prepared statement.
The brands have struggled to keep up with competition and failed to respond to changing tastes. Rivals like Adore Me and ThirdLove, which have sprouted up online and marketed themselves heavily on social media platforms like Instagram, have focused on fit and comfort while offering more options for different body types.
Victoria’s Secret lit up runways and clogged up the internet with its supermodels and an annual television special that mixed fashion, beauty and music. That glamour has faded and so have sales. The show was cancelled last year and shares of Victoria’s Secret went from triple digits less than five years ago to a quarter of that.
The company has been beset by allegations of a toxic work environment and its founder recently apologized for his ties to Epstein, who was found hanged in his jail cell after his indictment.
Epstein started managing Wexner’s money in the late 1980s and helped straighten out the finances for a real estate development backed by Wexner in a wealthy suburb of Columbus. Wexner has said he completely severed ties with Epstein nearly 12 years ago and accused him of misappropriating “vast sums” of his fortune.