Next seals deal to save Victoria’s Secret UK and hundreds of jobs

High street giant Next has struck a joint venture deal to save Victoria’s Secret’s UK business and hundreds of jobs.

The lingerie company tumbled into administration in June as its woes were exacerbated by the enforced closure of stores following the coronavirus pandemic.

L Brands, the US firm behind the Victoria’s Secret group, said Next will acquire the majority of the UK arm’s assets from insolvency.

Under the term of the deal, the UK digital business will be folded into the joint venture next spring.

Next financials
Next financials

Next will take a 51% stake in the joint venture, with the other 49% remaining with the Victoria’s Secret group.

No financial terms were revealed and the move is subject to regulator clearance.

Martin Waters, chief executive officer of L Brands International, said: “We are pleased to take this next step in our profit improvement plan for Victoria’s Secret.

“Next’s capabilities and experience in the UK market are substantial and our partnership will provide meaningful growth opportunities for the business.”

Lord Simon Wolfson, chief executive of Next, said: “Next is very pleased at the prospect of working in partnership to expand the Victoria’s Secret brand in the UK and Ireland both in stores and online.”

Rob Harding, administrator at Deloitte, said: “This is an ideal way to secure the future of more than 500 employees in the UK.

“We are grateful to the creditors for working with us to deliver a solution that enables this business to survive and prosper.”

Shares in Next moved 1.3% higher to 6,070.8p in early trading on Tuesday after the deal.