Bath & Body Works Sees Future in Skin Care After L Brands Split

Bath & Body Works is exploring an expansion in skin and hair products as it plots an independent future after the pending breakup with Victoria’s Secret.

The chain could also broaden its offerings of organic and natural products, Andrew Meslow, chief executive officer of parent company L Brands Inc., said Monday at an investor presentation. Bath & Body Works could make its own products or partner with a third party, executives said at the event.

The comments chart a potential new path for Bath & Body Works as it tries to maintain the momentum of the past year, when sales of its soaps and hand sanitizers boomed during the pandemic. The skin-care category got a broad boost during the pandemic, with cosmetics giant Estee Lauder Cos. reporting accelerating growth in the segment even while makeup sales fell. A move in that direction would put Bath & Body Works in competition with other makeup retailers, such as Sephora and Ulta Beauty Inc.

Bath & Body Works will become an independent company next month when L Brands completes a separation of the bath-products chain and Victoria’s Secret. The move, coming after a failed effort to sell the lingerie retailer, is intended to allow the separate companies to tailor their investments and growth strategies in a changing retail landscape.

L Brands’ shares fell 3.5% at 10:45 a.m. in New York amid a broader market slump.

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