Limited Brands, Inc. (LTD) February Sales Conference March 6, 2013 ET
Good morning, everyone. This is Amie Preston, Chief Investor Relations Officer, and this is Limited Brands' February sales report for the 4-week period ending March 2, 2013. As a matter of formality, I need to remind you that any forward-looking statements I may make today are subject to the Safe Harbor statement found in our SEC filings.
Total Limited Brands sales for the 4 weeks ended March 2, 2013, were $712.7 million versus sales of $653.9 million for the 4 weeks ended February 25, 2012. Limited Brands' February comps, on a calendar basis, were up 3%. The February merchandise margin rate was down to last year. Inventories ended the month down 1% per square foot at cost versus last year. Victoria's Secret stores' February comparable store sales increased 5% on top of 10% last year, driven by strength across the assortment. February began with a focus on Valentine's Day. Midmonth, we transitioned our focus to both Dream Angels and PINK's spring break essentials. At the close of the month, we launched our fabulous bra with a focus on its demi frame. The merchandise margin rate decreased versus last year, driven by strong response to our CRM and Gift with Purchase offers, and increased promotional activity versus last year. Merchandise margin dollars increased versus last year.
March will begin with a continued focus on our fabulous collection and PINK's spring break essentials. The themes will shift midmonth to our Very Sexy collection and PINK's yoga leggings.
At Victoria's Secret Direct, February sales were down 4%, driven by a reduction in clearance selling and a decline in the clothing category. The February merchandise margin rate was up significantly to last year. At Bath & Body Works, February comps were flat, impacted by negative traffic levels. The merchandise margin rate for the month was up to last year. We began March with the Fresh Picked market theme, which will continue through the middle of March. We then transition to our newest Signature Collection fragrance, Beautiful Day. At La Senza Canada, February comps were up 5% and the merchandise margin rate were roughly flat.
In closing, we are projecting March comps in line with our quarterly guidance of low single-digit before the impact of the Easter calendar shift. Easter Sunday falls into March this year versus April last year, negatively impacting March by about 2 comp points. Adjusting for this shift, we expect March comps to be roughly flat.
Thank you for your continuing interest in Limited Brands.
Copyright policy: All transcripts on this site are the copyright of Seeking Alpha. However, we view them as an important resource for bloggers and journalists, and are excited to contribute to the democratization of financial information on the Internet. (Until now investors have had to pay thousands of dollars in subscription fees for transcripts.) So our reproduction policy is as follows: You may quote up to 400 words of any transcript on the condition that you attribute the transcript to Seeking Alpha and either link to the original transcript or to www.SeekingAlpha.com. All other use is prohibited.
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HERE IS A TEXTUAL REPRESENTATION OF THE APPLICABLE COMPANY'S CONFERENCE CALL, CONFERENCE PRESENTATION OR OTHER AUDIO PRESENTATION, AND WHILE EFFORTS ARE MADE TO PROVIDE AN ACCURATE TRANSCRIPTION, THERE MAY BE MATERIAL ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR INACCURACIES IN THE REPORTING OF THE SUBSTANCE OF THE AUDIO PRESENTATIONS. IN NO WAY DOES SEEKING ALPHA ASSUME ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY INVESTMENT OR OTHER DECISIONS MADE BASED UPON THE INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS WEB SITE OR IN ANY TRANSCRIPT. USERS ARE ADVISED TO REVIEW THE APPLICABLE COMPANY'S AUDIO PRESENTATION ITSELF AND THE APPLICABLE COMPANY'S SEC FILINGS BEFORE MAKING ANY INVESTMENT OR OTHER DECISIONS.
If you have any additional questions about our online transcripts, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!