SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D. C. 20549
|☒||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the fiscal year ended January 28, 2023
|☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934 [NO FEE REQUIRED]|
For the transition period from to
Commission file number 1-8344
BATH & BODY WORKS, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
|(State or other jurisdiction|
of incorporation or organization)
|(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)|
|Three Limited Parkway,|
|(Address of principal executive offices)||(Zip Code)|
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code (614) 415-7000
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading Symbol(s)||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Common Stock, $0.50 Par Value||BBWI||The New York Stock Exchange|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None.
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer ☒ Accelerated filer ☐ Non-accelerated filer ☐ Smaller reporting company ☐ Emerging growth company ☐
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☒
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant's executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
The aggregate market value of the registrant’s Common Stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter was approximately $8.1 billion.
Number of shares outstanding of the registrant’s Common Stock as of March 10, 2023: 228,766,151.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Registrant’s Proxy Statement for the Registrant’s 2023 Annual Meeting of Stockholders are incorporated by reference into Part III.
Table of Contents
ITEM 1. BUSINESS.
The company, which was founded in 1963 in Columbus, Ohio, has evolved over time from an apparel-based specialty retailer to a segment leader focused on home fragrance, body care and soaps and sanitizer products operating under the Bath & Body Works, White Barn and other brand names. We strive to make the world a brighter, happier place through the power of fragrance. We care about our customers and believe in giving them a reason to celebrate with fragrance every day. We remain committed to improving our communities and fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture that is focused on delivering exceptional fragrances and experiences. We are home to America’s Favorite Fragrances® and offer a breadth of exclusive fragrances for the body and home, including top-selling collections for fine fragrance mist, body lotion and body cream, 3-wick candles, home fragrance diffusers and liquid hand soap. For more than 30 years, customers have looked to Bath & Body Works for quality, on-trend products and the newest, freshest fragrances. We intend to build and transform an already strong foundation into a leading global omnichannel personal care and home fragrance brand.
As of January 28, 2023, our merchandise was sold through 1,802 company-operated stores and e-commerce sites in the United States of America ("U.S.") and Canada, and in 427 stores and 31 e-commerce sites in more than 45 other countries operating under franchise, license and wholesale arrangements.
On August 2, 2021, the company completed the spin-off of its Victoria's Secret business, which included the Victoria's Secret and PINK brands, into an independent publicly traded company ("Victoria's Secret & Co." and such transaction, the "Separation") on a tax-free basis. Accordingly, the operating results of the Victoria's Secret business are reported as discontinued operations for all periods presented. All discussion within this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including amounts, percentages and disclosures for all periods presented, reflect only the continuing operations of the company unless otherwise noted. In connection with the spin-off of the Victoria's Secret business, the company changed its name from L Brands, Inc. to Bath & Body Works, Inc. ("we" or the "Company"). Additionally, starting on August 3, 2021, the Company's common stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange (the "NYSE") under the stock symbol "BBWI."
Our fiscal year ends on the Saturday nearest to January 31. As used herein, “2022,” “2021” and “2020” refer to the 52-week periods ended January 28, 2023, January 29, 2022 and January 30, 2021, respectively.
Our Competitive Strengths
We believe the following competitive strengths contribute to our leading market position, differentiate us from our competitors and will drive future long-term sustainable growth:
Industry Leading Brand and Products
We have developed and operate a well-known, beloved and broadly appealing brand, which allows us to target markets across the economic spectrum, across demographics and across the world. We are an affordable luxury brand with covetable offerings, and a key tenet of our strategy is offering products at all price points. Customers look to us to celebrate the season, transport them to another time and place, decorate their home and find the perfect gift.
We have also developed trusted and market leading products in the body care, home fragrance, and soap and sanitizer categories. Our products are differentiated through a combination of fragrance, packaging and quality at accessible prices. We also sell products under our trusted sub brands, including White Barn and Aromatherapy.
In-Store Experience and Store Operations
We view our customers' in-store experience as an important vehicle for communicating the image of our brand. We utilize visual presentation of merchandise, fragrance, in-store marketing, music and our sales associates to reinforce the image represented by our brand. Our in-store marketing is designed to convey the principal elements and personality of our brand. The store design, visual marketing and storytelling, fixtures, scents, and music are all carefully planned and coordinated to create a unique shopping experience. We display merchandise uniformly to ensure a consistent store experience, regardless of location. Store managers receive detailed plans designating fixture and merchandise placement to ensure coordinated execution of the Company-wide merchandising strategy. Our sales associates and store managers are a central element in bringing our seasonal storytelling to life by providing a high level of customer service.
In addition to our in-store experience, we strive to create a customer-centric digital platform that integrates the digital and physical brand experience and enables convenience for the customer when desired. Our digital presence, including social media, our websites and our loyalty application, allows us to get to know our customers better and communicate with them anytime and anywhere.
Quality and innovation are at the core of our sourcing strategy. We seek to drive efficiencies and mitigate risk through our strong technical research and prolific product development. Our merchant, design and sourcing teams have a long history of bringing innovative and covetable products to our customers. Our product offering and assortment strategy are key to elevating our brand, increasing our long-term pricing power and extending our reach.
We believe a large part of our success comes from our ability to quickly assess and effectively adjust to changing consumer preferences. We leverage our differentiated product development capabilities to frequently deliver compelling new fragrances, packaging and other product launches. We are dedicated to delivering a full product pipeline by launching new fragrances and products every four to six weeks, with new products launching nearly every week.
Sourcing and Logistics
Our predominantly domestic, vertically integrated supply chain enables us to successfully navigate a dynamic environment and to respond to changing consumer preferences with speed and agility. Our supplier base includes long-standing vendor relationships, and the majority of our products are produced at Beauty Park, a business park that includes several key vendors within close proximity to our Columbus, Ohio distribution centers. These strategic vendor relationships provide deep capabilities across our product categories.
While our Company-owned distribution centers located in central Ohio are core to our operations, we also utilize third-party distribution centers located throughout North America to position inventory geographically closer to our customers. Third party-operated direct channel fulfillment centers and pop-up fulfillment facilities throughout North America are also used to support our peak needs. In addition, in the fall of 2022, we completed construction of our first Company-operated direct channel fulfillment center. Located near Columbus, Ohio, this facility has 1.1 million square feet of space and state-of-the-art fulfillment capabilities to support the future growth in our direct business (also referred to as digital or e-commerce) and enhanced fulfillment capabilities for our business.
Experienced and Committed Management Team
Our senior management team has significant retail and business experience at Bath & Body Works, Inc. and other companies such as Unilever, Avon Products, The Estée Lauder Companies, Ann Taylor and Loft, Banana Republic, Ross Stores, Abercrombie & Fitch, Madewell, Carter’s, Rosetta Stone and KPMG.
Our Board of Directors (the "Board") appointed Gina R. Boswell as our Chief Executive Officer and as a member of our Board, effective December 1, 2022. Sarah E. Nash, who had served as Executive Chair of the Board since February 2022 and Interim Chief Executive Officer since May 2022, remained Executive Chair through January 28, 2023, at which time she transitioned back to independent Chair of the Board.
Expanding our Customer Base and Customer Spend
As a leading fragrance company, we deliver customers their favorite fragrances in multiple forms and categories with industry- leading speed and innovation. We manage every touchpoint throughout the customer journey to deliver a highly differentiated shopping experience. We have a large, loyal customer base that spans income levels, age groups and ethnicities. We believe we have significant opportunity to acquire new customers, increase spend and further diversify our customer base.
We are continuing to prioritize investment in our customer experience. As part of this investment, we launched our loyalty program nationwide in the U.S. during August 2022. Our enrollment results have exceeded our initial expectations, with more than 33 million members enrolled to date, and more than 80% of these members were active in the last 12 months. We believe we have opportunity to drive more value and attract more customers to the loyalty program by increasing engagement through personalization, fully integrating the program across social, physical and digital interactions, and making future program enhancements like accelerators and flexible rewards. Our loyalty customers typically spend more, have greater retention rates and make more trips than non-loyalty customers. Our loyalty sales represent approximately two thirds of our U.S. sales since launch in August 2022.
We also believe we have an opportunity to leverage data and analytics to build deeper customer connections to deliver more personalized marketing and develop a more targeted promotion strategy. We believe we can grow our customer base, increase engagement and drive incremental visits, all while decreasing our reliance on broad-based promotions, by implementing a more targeted marketing approach rooted in advanced analytics and customer segmentation.
Optimizing our Product Offering
Our product offering and assortment strategy are key to enhancing our brand, increasing our pricing power and extending our reach. We believe that offering our customer favorites in multiple forms is a competitive differentiator that drives our customer loyalty and purchases. Our cross-category assortment is a key reason for our customers to come back and visit our stores. Our products are designed to be used daily and replenished frequently. We believe we have a strong pipeline of products, and we expect to continue to launch new fragrances and products about every four to six weeks.
Innovation and newness are key drivers of our business, and we believe we have opportunity for growth in our existing categories through new product launches, formula upgrades and packaging refreshes, which we believe drives traffic and repeat customers. We recently launched a new single-wick vessel in candles, which rounds out our candle portfolio and offers a burn time of 30 to 50 hours. We continue to increase our assortment of scent control wallflower heaters that offer our customers choice in how much scent to enjoy in each room of their home. As we look ahead to 2023, we are focused on delivering fresh and compelling new scents and exciting new product expansions to our fragrance portfolio.
In addition, we continue to learn our customers’ preferences in new and adjacent product lines and plan to continue to add more new and innovative products over time as we work to expand our brand’s global reach. We are focused on leveraging our core strengths in fragrance and innovation to extend our product leadership into categories such as Men's and Wellness. Our Men’s business was our fastest growing product category in 2022 as we test new forms and merchandising ideas. We are also expanding our Wellness collection that is geared towards elevating our customer’s daily wellness routine with curated collections for body and home.
We are also focused on enhancing our brand by developing products with customers' ingredient preferences in mind and on re-thinking our packaging. By the end of 2023, we anticipate that more than half of our products will be formulated without parabens, sulfates and dyes. We are testing recyclable aluminum soap vessels and have introduced the use of post-consumer recycled content in packaging across several of our product categories. Later in 2023, we will be offering hand soap in large cartons that enable our customers to refill their soap containers. By the end of 2025, we plan to increase the amount of post-consumer recycled content to 33% of our total plastic packaging portfolio.
Expanding our International Business
We have an opportunity to drive growth in our international business, which on a reported basis was approximately 4% of our Net Sales in 2022, leveraging our partnership-based, asset-light model. In 2023, we expect our international business to continue to accelerate and continue to have Net Sales growth and accretive operating margins. We believe we have scaling opportunities in existing markets and opportunities to enter into new markets to drive the growth of our international business. We believe our fragrance portfolio allows successful olfactive distortions to local preferences.
Our franchise partners are committed to greater expansion and opened 89 net new stores in 2022, bringing the total to 427 in over 45 countries (excluding our Company-operated stores in Canada) as of January 28, 2023. Our partners plan to open between 50 and 80 net new international stores in 2023. Additionally, we expect to continue growing the digital components of our international business, including through country-specific web platforms tailored to local languages and preferences and through additional regional expansion. As of January 28, 2023, our partners operated 31 international e-commerce sites, an increase of four from January 29, 2022.
Advancing our Omnichannel Capabilities
We see a significant opportunity to better connect our stores and e-commerce platforms to deliver a seamless experience and increase our customer lifetime value. We are focused on omnichannel initiatives and enhanced capabilities to engage our customers how, when and where they want. During 2022, we rolled out buy online-pickup in store ("BOPIS") to over 800 Company-operated stores and have BOPIS capabilities in more than 1,300 stores as of January 28, 2023. In addition, in the fall of 2022, we completed construction of, and commenced initial operations in, our first Company-operated direct channel fulfillment center with 1.1 million square feet of space and state-of-the-art fulfillment capabilities.
We seek to continuously improve the online experience for our direct channel by enhancing graphics, video and the marketing/content mix, as well as making our websites and loyalty application easier to navigate. We believe our increased focus on mobile and application interactions will continue to provide flexibility and convenience to our customers, while creating a seamless shopping experience. Our shopping and services initiatives will continue to modernize the customer’s digital shopping experience through features like enhancing the loyalty program and a shoppable mobile application.
Technology is a key enabler to our growth and separating our information technology systems from Victoria's Secret & Co. (as described below under "Information Systems") will enable us to make future strategic investments to strengthen our omnichannel capabilities.
The following table provides the number of our Company-operated retail stores as of January 28, 2023 and January 29, 2022:
|January 28, 2023||January 29, 2022|
|United States||1,693||1,651 |
|Total||1,802 ||1,755 |
The following table provides the changes in the number of our Company-operated retail stores for the past three fiscal years:
|Opened||Closed||End of Year|
|2022||1,755 ||95 ||(48)||1,802 |
|2021||1,736 ||54 ||(35)||1,755 |
|2020||1,739 ||27 ||(30)||1,736 |
We have a diversified store portfolio in the U.S. and Canada across venue tiers and types, with approximately half of our stores located off-mall as of January 28, 2023. We are continuing our off-mall expansion to limit our exposure to vulnerable mall locations. As a result of our strong brand and established retail presence, we have been able to lease high-traffic locations in most retail centers in which we operate. We proactively manage our stores and adjust our investment levels based on individual store and fleet performance.
Over time, we expect low-single digit annual increases in North American square footage, with off-mall penetration steadily increasing. We will open new stores in emerging non-mall venues or as replacement stores for non-viable malls, while closing stores in non-viable or declining malls. During 2022, we opened 95 new, off-mall stores and permanently closed 48 stores, principally in malls, in North America, resulting in net square footage growth of 5% for the year. We are planning approximately 115 total real estate projects in 2023, consisting of approximately 90 new, off-mall stores and 25 remodels to our store design that incorporates our White Barn concept, partially offset by approximately 50 mall closures. We expect these projects to yield square footage growth of approximately 4% during 2023.
Our White Barn store design has demonstrated potential to increase sales and profitability, as White Barn locations typically experience increased sales and traffic following completion of the remodel. Approximately two-thirds of our stores were in the White Barn store design as of January 28, 2023, and we expect to prioritize the remaining higher performing core stores for conversion to the White Barn store design in viable locations over the next five years.
Franchise, License and Wholesale Arrangements
In addition to our Company-operated stores, our products are sold at partner-operated locations and websites in more than 45 countries through franchise, license and wholesale arrangements. Our partner-based, asset-light business model allows us to establish operating standards by owning assortment, pricing architecture, promotions, store designs and real estate approval while our partners make investments and contribute as experts in local real estate, people and practices.
The following table provides the number of international stores operated by our partners as of January 28, 2023 and January 29, 2022:
|January 28, 2023||January 29, 2022|
|International||401 ||317 |
|International - Travel Retail||26 ||21 |
|Total||427 ||338 |
Additionally, our partners operated 31 international e-commerce sites as of January 28, 2023, compared to 27 as of January 29, 2022.
Revenue recognized under franchise and license arrangements generally consists of royalties earned and recognized upon sale of merchandise by franchise and license partners to retail customers. Revenue is generally recognized under wholesale and sourcing arrangements at the time the title to the products passes to the partner.
During 2022, we purchased merchandise from approximately 120 vendors, primarily located in the U.S. Our largest vendor supplied approximately 13% of our total merchandise purchases during 2022, while no other single vendor provided more than 10% of our merchandise purchases. Our five largest vendors supplied approximately 38% of our total merchandise purchases on a combined basis during 2022.
Distribution and Merchandise Inventory
Most of our merchandise is produced in the U.S. and is shipped to our distribution centers in the Columbus, Ohio area. In addition to our Company-operated distribution centers, we also utilize third-party logistics providers to warehouse and distribute product throughout North America. We proactively evaluate our distribution channels to ensure we are able to provide the right product at the right place to meet or exceed our customers’ expectations. Our policy is to maintain sufficient quantities of inventories on hand in our retail stores, fulfillment centers and distribution centers to enable us to meet customer demand.
We continue to actively manage our inventory to adjust for anticipated channel shifts and product category shifts. The current macroeconomic environment, including the impacts of continued inflationary cost pressure, requires agility, and we believe we are leveraging the speed that we have in our supply chain, our close partnerships with our suppliers and the capabilities of our sourcing, production and logistics teams to respond quickly. We believe Beauty Park and our predominantly domestic, vertically integrated supply chain enable us to successfully navigate a dynamic environment and present full and abundant product assortments on time to our customers with speed and agility.
Our management information systems consist of a full range of retail, financial and merchandising systems. The systems include applications related to point-of-sale, e-commerce, merchandising, planning, sourcing, logistics, inventory management, data security and support systems, including human resources and finance systems. Victoria's Secret & Co. currently administers and maintains operations of most existing technology and serves as a principal technology service provider to us under a transition services agreement we entered into in connection with the Separation ("TSA"). During the first quarter of 2022, we elected to accelerate the work of establishing separate information technology capabilities for the Company. Initiatives to separate systems are underway and we expect this work to be substantially completed in the summer of 2023. We believe the completion of the technology separation will enable us to more quickly develop critical capabilities to enhance our omnichannel capabilities and support the growth and profitability of our business.
Our operations are seasonal in nature and consist of two principal selling seasons: Spring (the first and second quarters) and Fall (the third and fourth quarters). The fourth quarter, including the holiday season, typically accounts for approximately one-third of our net sales and is our most profitable quarter. Accordingly, cash requirements are highest in the third quarter as our inventories build in advance of the holiday season.
We fund our business operations through a combination of available cash and cash equivalents and cash flows generated from operations. In addition, our credit facility is available for additional working capital needs and investment opportunities.
We and our products are subject to regulation by various federal, state, local and foreign regulatory authorities. We are subject to a variety of tax and customs regulations and international trade arrangements.
Our trademarks, copyrights and patents, which constitute our primary intellectual property, have been registered or are the subject of pending applications in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and with the registries of many foreign countries and/or are protected by common law. We believe our products are identified by our intellectual property and our intellectual property is an integral tool in protecting innovation. Thus, we believe our intellectual property is of significant value. Accordingly, we intend to maintain our intellectual property and related registrations and vigorously protect our intellectual property assets against infringement.
The sale of home fragrance, body care and soap and sanitizer products is a highly competitive business with numerous competitors, including individual and chain specialty stores, department stores, online retailers and discount retailers. Brand image, presentation, marketing, design, price, service, fulfillment, assortment and quality are the principal competitive factors.
For additional information about our business, see "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations," included under Item 7. of Part II of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Human Capital Management
At Bath & Body Works, our purpose goes beyond selling product. We work to make a difference in our communities and foster a safe, welcoming, inclusive and empowering workplace for our thousands of associates.
The Human Capital and Compensation Committee (the “HCC Committee”) of our Board oversees, amongst other things, the Company’s programs, policies, practices and strategies relating to culture, talent, diversity, equity and inclusion, equal employment opportunities and the Company’s executive compensation programs. Our Board oversees the succession planning process for our Chief Executive Officer.
As of January 28, 2023, we employed approximately 57,200 associates, 48,400 of whom were part-time. The Company supplements resources using temporary associates during peak periods, such as the end-of-the-year holiday season. Approximately 94% of our associates work in our stores, 3% in our distribution and fulfillment centers and the balance in our home office locations. None of our associates in the U.S. are covered by a collective bargaining agreement.
Our customer base is predominantly women, and we ensure that we reflect this in our associate population and on our Board. As of December 31, 2022, women made up approximately 88% of our associate population, approximately 55% of our director level and above associate population and approximately 53% of our senior vice president level and above associate population. In addition, as of the filing date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, four of our six executive officers are women, including Gina R. Boswell, our Chief Executive Officer, and six of our 13 members of the Board are women, including Sarah E. Nash, our independent Board Chair and Patricia S. Bellinger, the Chair of our Nominating and Governance Committee.
In addition to gender diversity, we have a goal of employing a racially diverse workforce where everyone belongs and contributes fully to our success. As of December 31, 2022, our workforce was composed of 44% non-white associates, including 13% of leadership associates at the director level and above. In addition, as of the filing date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, two of our six executive officers and four of our 13 members of the Board were people of color.
Focus on Inclusion
We focus on recruiting, retaining and advancing diverse talent that reflects the customers we serve and the communities where we live and work. By continuing to encourage and support a workplace environment where diversity, equity and inclusion ("DEI") are valued, we believe we can serve our customers better, as well as attract and retain highly talented associates, suppliers and vendors of different backgrounds and experiences.
Led by our Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and with oversight from the HCC Committee, we have a DEI strategy based around our associates, business and communities:
•Recruitment: Increase the diversity of candidate slates and hires for all roles, with a specific focus on increasing representation of racially diverse associates at the director level and above.
•Education and Development: Provide culturally significant learning, professional development and growth opportunities for all associates.
•Engagement and Retention: Foster a culture of inclusion that engages associates in meaningful opportunities to build community.
•Business: Leverage the voices of diverse associates and internal and external relationships to improve the customer experience and ensure our marketing and product assortment resonates with our customers.
•Supplier Diversity: Provide diverse companies sustainable, long-standing business opportunities through partnerships with us.
•Community: Increase volunteerism and investment in organizations focused on racial equity, gender equity and social justice.
More than 90% of our corporate associates at the director level and above had completed DEI training as of January 28, 2023, which includes training on unconscious bias, equity and conscious inclusion. The training emphasizes both the Company’s and associates’ responsibilities to build an inclusive culture at the Company and accountability for senior leaders. In addition, as of January 28, 2023, more than 95% of our corporate associates had completed our core DEI online learning module made available to new hires during their onboarding. To further strengthen our commitment to advancing DEI, under the leadership
of our Chief Executive Officer, we joined the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion in December 2022, pledging to cultivate environments that support open dialogue on complex DEI conversations and share DEI best practices.
We currently have eight associate Inclusion Resource Groups (up from five in 2021) that provide opportunities for associates to connect with one another around their shared passion for creating an inclusive workplace for all associates. These groups provide professional development for associates, support the needs of the business, help shape the culture of our Company and provide engagement and volunteerism in the community. The Inclusion Resource Group programming is open to all associates who identify with, or are allies of, the following groups: Hispanic and Latino; LGBTQIA+; Black and African American; Asian and Pacific Islander; entry level and early career professionals; associates with disabilities and caregivers; military and veteran community; and women. During 2022, we hosted 58 events with approximately 8,800 attendees, and our associates volunteered more than 4,000 hours of time to non-profits in the communities where our associates are based.
The Company was recognized by The Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index as a 2022 "Best Place to Work for LGBTQIA+ Equality." For the fifth year in a row, the Company received a perfect score on the index, which rates companies on detailed criteria in the following four areas:
•Non-discrimination policies across business entities;
•Equitable benefits for LGBTQIA+ workers and their families;
•Supporting inclusive culture; and
•Corporate social responsibility.
Most recently, Newsweek announced that the Company is considered one of America’s Greatest Workplaces for Women in 2023. Companies are selected by those with the highest rankings on criteria such as “compensation and benefits”, “work-life balance” and “proactive management of a diverse workforce.” In addition, the Company was included on the Forbes Best Large Employer 2023 list. The ranking is determined by participants who rate their willingness to recommend their own employers to friends and family, followed by nominating organizations other than their own. We are also proud to be named a Diversity First Top 50 Company in 2023 by the Diversity Research Institute, which recognizes employers following extensive research and analysis into the racial and gender diversity of executive and board membership.
These designations are some of the ways we have been recognized for our ongoing commitment to DEI.
Commitment to Equitable and Competitive Wages
We are committed to equal opportunity and treatment for all associates which includes equal career advancement opportunities and equitable and competitive wages. Our commitment to pay equity is evaluated by conducting periodic assessments of pay equity based on gender, race and ethnicity. In addition, we evaluate fairness of total compensation with reference to both internal and external comparisons.
Our compensation programs are designed to link annual changes in compensation to overall Company performance, as well as each individual’s contribution to the results achieved. Our pay for performance philosophy includes participation of our store leaders and all salaried associates in home office and distribution and fulfillment centers in our short-term cash incentive compensation program. In addition, our store leaders earn monthly bonuses based on performance. The emphasis on overall Company performance is intended to align the associates’ financial interests with the interests of our stockholders.
Commitment to Providing Quality Benefits
We offer competitive, performance-based compensation; a company-matched savings and retirement plan; and flexible and affordable health, wellness and lifestyle benefits. Subject to certain eligibility requirements, associates can choose benefits and resources that fit their lifestyle, including, but not limited to, 14 weeks paid maternity leave, six weeks paid paternity leave, mental health benefits, family planning benefits including fertility, adoption and surrogacy, expanded bereavement leave time, military leave, tuition assistance, free access to life planning services and a generous merchandise discount.
During 2022, we expanded our benefits with the addition of commuter benefits and a tobacco cessation program. In addition, we enhanced our associate stock purchase plan to allow associates to purchase Company stock at a discount.
Associate Engagement and Development
We are committed to investing in all our associates. During 2022, we conducted a survey of our home office workforce to assess associate engagement, culture, leadership communication and effectiveness, diversity and inclusion efforts, work-life balance and career development. In 2022, 87% of associates responded to the survey with an 84% favorable engagement rate. Leaders created action plans that were incorporated into their annual goals in response to input received via the survey.
We provide diverse learning opportunities and challenging work experiences. We believe that associates can reach their career goals through multiple roles, career paths and locations. We offer a variety of enrichment experiences for those joining us as interns, new graduates, in mid-career or as a capstone to a career. Examples include:
•Leadership Development: Courses for associates in management positions to build critical skills and grow as effective leaders.
•Merchant-in-Training Program: Immersive program to learn the profession both on the job and from experts in the classroom.
•Onboarding: Dedicated time to learn the business and to form important relationships for mentoring and development.
•Tuition Assistance: Reimbursement of 100% of eligible tuition expenses, up to $3,000 per calendar year.
•English as a Second Language Classes: A new offering for our distribution center associates, many of whom have English as a second language.
•Maintenance Technician Training: A new offering for our distribution center associates to build skills to aid in career advancement.
Safety Is Our Priority
We are committed to providing all of our associates a healthy and safe working environment and for protecting the safety of our customers. Our health and safety programs are designed to meet or exceed regulatory requirements for the various industry sectors of our business and in the jurisdictions in which we operate.
Code of Conduct
We have a written Code of Conduct that is based on our values and is a resource which establishes standards for employee conduct that reinforces the Company's commitment to integrity and ethical conduct. We conduct an annual Code of Conduct compliance process that requires associates to complete a Code of Conduct disclosure and a separate training course.
We maintain an Ethics Hotline, operated by a third-party, 24 hours a day, seven days a week where associates may anonymously report potential instances of unethical conduct and potential violations of law or Company policies.
We are subject to the reporting requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"), and its rules and regulations. The Exchange Act requires us to file reports, proxy statements and other information with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). The SEC maintains a website that contains reports, proxy statements and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC. These materials may be obtained electronically by accessing the SEC's website at www.sec.gov.
Our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to these reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act are available, free of charge, on our website at www.bbwinc.com. Our website and information included in or linked to our website are not part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Copies of any of the above-referenced documents will also be made available, free of charge, upon written request to:
Bath & Body Works, Inc.
Investor Relations Department
Three Limited Parkway
Columbus, Ohio 43230
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS.
We caution that any forward-looking statements (as such term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995) contained in this report or made by our Company or our management involve risks and uncertainties and are subject to change based on various factors, many of which are beyond our control. Accordingly, our future performance and financial results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in any such forward-looking statements. Words such as “estimate,” “project,” “plan,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “planned,” “potential,” "target," "goal" and any similar expressions may identify forward-looking statements. Risks associated with the following factors, among others, in some cases have affected and in the future could affect our financial performance and actual results and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements included in this report or otherwise made by our Company or our management:
•general economic conditions, inflation, consumer confidence, consumer spending patterns and market disruptions including pandemics or significant health hazards, severe weather conditions, natural disasters, terrorist activities, financial crises, political crises or other major events, or the prospect of these events;
•the seasonality of our business;
•the anticipated benefits from the Victoria's Secret & Co. spin-off may not be realized;
•the spin-off of Victoria’s Secret & Co. may not be tax-free for U.S. federal income tax purposes;
•our dependence on Victoria's Secret & Co. for information technology services and the transition of such services to our own information technology systems or to those of third-party technology service providers;
•our ability to attract, develop and retain qualified associates and manage labor-related costs;
•difficulties arising from turnover in Company leadership or other key positions;
•the dependence on store traffic and the availability of suitable store locations on appropriate terms;
•our continued growth in part through new store openings and existing store remodels and expansions;
•our ability to successfully operate and expand internationally and related risks;
•our independent franchise, license and wholesale partners;
•our direct channel business;
•our ability to protect our reputation and our brand image;
•our ability to successfully complete environmental, social and governance initiatives, and associated costs thereof;
•our ability to successfully achieve expected annual cost savings in connection with our profit optimization efforts to reduce expenses and improve operating efficiency in the business;
•our ability to attract customers with marketing, advertising and promotional programs;
•our ability to maintain, enforce and protect our trade names, trademarks and patents;
•the highly competitive nature of the retail industry and the segments in which we operate;
•consumer acceptance of our products and our ability to manage the life cycle of our brand, develop new merchandise and launch new product lines successfully;
•our ability to source, distribute and sell goods and materials on a global basis, including risks related to:
◦political instability, wars and other armed conflicts, environmental hazards or natural disasters;
◦significant health hazards or pandemics, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which could result in closed factories and/or stores, reduced workforces, scarcity of raw materials, and scrutiny or embargoing of goods produced in impacted areas;
◦duties, taxes and other charges;
◦legal and regulatory matters;
◦volatility in currency exchange rates;
◦local business practices and political issues;
◦delays or disruptions in shipping and transportation and related pricing impacts;
◦disruption due to labor disputes; and
◦changing expectations regarding product safety due to new legislation;
•our geographic concentration of vendor and distribution facilities in central Ohio;
•our reliance on a limited number of suppliers to support a substantial portion of our inventory purchasing needs;
•the ability of our vendors to deliver products in a timely manner, meet quality standards and comply with applicable laws and regulations;
•fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates;
•fluctuations in product input costs;
•fluctuations in energy costs;
•our ability to adequately protect our assets from loss and theft;
•increases in the costs of mailing, paper, printing or other order fulfillment logistics;
•claims arising from our self-insurance;
•our and our third-party service providers’, including Victoria’s Secret & Co. during the term of the Transition Services Agreement between us and Victoria’s Secret & Co., ability to implement and maintain information technology systems and to protect associated data;
•our ability to maintain the security of customer, associate, third-party and Company information;
•stock price volatility;
•our ability to pay dividends and make share repurchases under share repurchase authorizations;
•shareholder activism matters;
•our ability to maintain our credit ratings;
•our ability to service or refinance our debt and maintain compliance with our restrictive covenants;
•the impact of the transition from London Interbank Offered Rate ("LIBOR") and our ability to adequately manage such transition;
•our ability to comply with laws, regulations and technology platform rules or other obligations related to data privacy and security;
•our ability to comply with regulatory requirements;
•legal and compliance matters; and
•tax, trade and other regulatory matters.
We are not under any obligation and do not intend to make publicly available any update or other revisions to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this report to reflect circumstances existing after the date of this report or to reflect the occurrence of future events even if experience or future events make it clear that any expected results expressed or implied by those forward-looking statements will not be realized.
The following discussion of risk factors contains “forward-looking statements.” These risk factors may be important to understanding any statement in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, other filings or in any other discussions of our business. The following information should be read in conjunction with Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation and Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.
In addition to the other information set forth in this report, the reader should carefully consider the following factors which could materially affect our business, results of operations, financial condition or cash flows. The risks described below are not our only risks. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known or that are currently deemed to be immaterial may also adversely affect our business, results of operations, financial condition and/or cash flows in a material way.
Risks related to our business:
Our net sales, profit results and cash flows are sensitive to, have been affected by and may in the future be further impacted by, general economic conditions, inflation, consumer confidence, customer spending patterns, significant health hazards or pandemics, weather or other market disruptions.
Our net sales, profit, cash flows and future growth may be affected by negative local, regional, national or international political or economic trends or developments that reduce consumers’ ability or willingness to spend. These risks, which can vary substantially by country, include political, financial or social instability or conditions, geopolitical events, corruption, anti-American sentiment, social and ethnic unrest, military conflicts and terrorism, as well as changes in general economic conditions (including unemployment levels, inflation and the recent market volatility and instability in the banking sector). For example, the U.S. economy is being negatively impacted by high inflation rates, which have negatively impacted and may continue to negatively impact consumer demand. In addition, market disruptions due to natural disasters, significant health hazards or pandemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, or other major events or the prospect of these events could also impact consumer spending and confidence levels. Extreme weather conditions in the areas in which our stores are located, particularly in markets where we have multiple stores, or in the Columbus, Ohio region where most of our distribution centers are located, could adversely affect our business. During periods when economic or market conditions are unsettled or weak, purchases of our products have declined, and may in the future decline. In such circumstances, we have increased, and may in the future continue to increase, the number of promotional sales, which, when combined with inflationary cost pressures, have negatively affected our merchandise margin rates and, in the future, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Our net sales, operating income, cash and inventory levels fluctuate on a seasonal basis.
We experience major seasonal fluctuations in our net sales and operating income, with a significant portion of our operating income typically realized during the fourth quarter holiday season. Any decrease in sales or margins during this period could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Seasonal fluctuations also affect our cash and inventory levels, since we usually order merchandise in advance of peak selling periods and sometimes before new trends are confirmed by customer purchases. We must carry a significant amount of
inventory, especially before the holiday season selling period. If we are not successful in selling inventory, we may have to sell the inventory at significantly reduced prices or may not be able to sell the inventory at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We may not realize the anticipated benefits from the Separation, which could harm our business.
On August 2, 2021, we completed the separation of the Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret businesses. We may incur significant additional expenses and challenges in connection with the separation of the Victoria’s Secret business, which may include expenses and challenges related to our separation from the Victoria’s Secret information technology environment. We are now a smaller and less diversified business than before the Separation, which could make us more vulnerable to changing market and economic conditions. Additionally, a potential loss of synergies from the Separation could negatively impact our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. In addition, we may not be able to achieve the full strategic and financial benefits that are expected to result from the Separation and the anticipated benefits of the Separation are based on a number of assumptions, some of which may prove incorrect. If we fail to achieve some or all of the benefits expected to result from the Separation, or if such benefits are delayed, our business could be harmed.
The Separation could result in substantial tax liability to us and our stockholders.
We received an opinion of counsel to the effect that, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the spin-off and certain related transactions qualify for tax-free treatment under certain sections of the Internal Revenue Code. However, the opinion relies on certain assumptions, representations and undertakings, including those relating to the past and future conduct of our business, and the opinion would not be valid if such assumptions, representations and undertakings were incorrect. Furthermore, the opinion is not binding on the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") or the courts. If, notwithstanding receipt of the opinion, the spin-off or certain related transactions are determined to be taxable, we would be subject to a substantial tax liability. In addition, if the spin-off is taxable, each holder of our common stock who received shares of Victoria's Secret & Co. common stock in connection with the spin-off would generally be treated as receiving a taxable dividend in an amount equal to the fair market value of the shares received.
Even if the spin-off otherwise qualifies as a tax-free transaction, the distribution would be taxable to us (but not to our stockholders) in certain circumstances if future significant acquisitions of our stock or the stock of Victoria's Secret & Co. are determined to be part of a plan or series of related transactions that included the spin-off. In this event, the resulting tax liability could be substantial. In connection with the spin-off, we entered into a Tax Matters Agreement with Victoria's Secret & Co., pursuant to which Victoria's Secret & Co. agreed to not enter into any transaction that could cause the spin-off or any related transactions to be taxable to us without our consent and to indemnify us for any tax liability resulting from any such transaction. In addition, these potential tax liabilities may discourage, delay or prevent a change of control of us.
Victoria’s Secret & Co. continues to provide certain information technology services to us on a transitional basis as we continue to establish and transform our own information technology systems and transition certain technology services to third-party information technology service providers. We may incur costs that significantly exceed our current expectations in connection with the transition of these services to us and third parties and the transformation of our information technology capabilities. Any inadequacy, interruption, integration failure or security failure of this technology could harm our ability to effectively operate our business.
Our ability to effectively manage and operate our business depends significantly on information technology systems. We rely heavily on applications related to point-of-sale, e-commerce, merchandising, planning, sourcing, logistics, inventory management, data security and support systems including human resources and finance currently supplied to us by Victoria’s Secret & Co. pursuant to our Transition Services Agreement with Victoria’s Secret & Co. that we entered into in connection with the Separation. Victoria’s Secret & Co. is not in the business of providing information technology outsourcing services and does not have experience providing such services for third parties. Victoria's Secret & Co. may not successfully execute all of these services during the transition period. Further, we may have to expend significant efforts and/or costs materially in excess of those estimated by us to transition such services to our information technology systems or to those of our third-party technology service providers and transform our information technology capabilities to support our omnichannel strategy. We may also experience delays in connection with the transition of such services. Any interruption in, or deficiency of, these services could have a negative impact on our information technology systems or our internal controls over financial reporting or otherwise cause a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We may be impacted by our ability to attract, develop and retain qualified associates and manage labor-related costs.
We believe one of our competitive advantages is providing positive, engaging and satisfying experiences for our customers, which requires us to have highly trained, engaged and diverse associates. Our success depends in part upon our ability to attract, develop and retain a sufficient number of qualified associates, including store personnel and talented merchants. The turnover rate in the retail industry is generally high, and qualified individuals of the requisite caliber and number needed to fill these
positions may be in short supply in some areas. Competition for such qualified individuals or changes in labor and healthcare laws could require us to incur higher labor costs. Our inability to recruit a sufficient number of qualified individuals in the future may delay planned openings of new stores or affect the speed with which we expand. Delayed store openings, significant increases in associate turnover rates or significant increases in labor-related costs could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
In recent years, multiple retailers have faced unionization campaigns from their workers. If we are subject to a unionization campaign from our associates, we would incur significant expenses in the form of legal and consulting fees and potentially be subject to negative publicity that could significantly disrupt our operations and have an adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
An increase in the costs of associate wages, benefits and insurance (including workers’ compensation, general liability, property and health) could adversely affect our operating results. In particular, labor shortages and the current competitive labor market have increased competition for qualified associates, which has compelled, and may continue to compel, us to pay higher wages to attract or retain qualified associates. Such increases in costs may result from general economic or competitive conditions or from government imposition of higher minimum wages at the federal, state or local level, including in connection with the increases in state minimum wages that have recently been enacted by various states. Moreover, there may be a long-term trend toward higher wages in developing markets. Any increase in such operating expenses could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Turnover in Company leadership or other key positions, and our ability to attract and retain new talent, may have an adverse impact on Company performance.
We may experience changes in key leadership or key positions in the future. The departure of key leadership personnel can result in the loss of significant knowledge and experience. This loss of knowledge and experience can be mitigated through successful hiring and transition, but there can be no assurance that we will be successful in such efforts. Attracting and retaining qualified senior leadership may be more challenging under adverse business conditions. Failure to attract and retain the right talent or to smoothly manage the transition of responsibilities resulting from such turnover could affect our ability to meet our challenges and may cause us to miss performance objectives or financial targets or disrupt our relationships with our customers, vendors or other third parties.
Our net sales depend on a volume of traffic to our stores and the availability of suitable lease space.
Most of our stores are located in retail shopping areas including malls and other types of retail centers. Sales at these stores are derived, in part, from the volume of consumer traffic in those retail areas. Our stores benefit from the ability of the retail center and other attractions in an area, including “destination” retail stores, to generate consumer traffic in the vicinity of our stores. Sales volume and retail traffic may be adversely affected by factors that we cannot control, such as economic downturns, including due to inflationary pressures, or changes in consumer demographics in a particular area, consumer trends away from brick-and-mortar retail toward online shopping, competition from internet and other retailers and other retail areas where we do not have stores, significant health hazards or pandemics, the closing of other stores or the decline in popularity or safety in the shopping areas where our stores are located and the deterioration in the financial condition of the operators or developers of the shopping areas in which our stores are located.
Part of our future growth is significantly dependent on our ability to operate stores in desirable locations with capital investment and lease costs providing the opportunity to earn a reasonable return. We cannot be sure as to when or whether such desirable locations will become available at reasonable costs. Additionally, we are dependent upon the suitability of the lease spaces that we currently use. The leases that we enter into are generally noncancelable leases with initial terms of 10 years. If we determine that it is no longer economical to operate a store and decide to close it, we may remain obligated under the applicable lease for, among other things, payment of the base rent for the balance of the lease term.
These risks could have a material adverse effect on our ability to grow and our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Our continued growth and success depends in part on new store openings and existing store remodels and expansions.
Our continued growth and success depends in part on our ability to open and operate new, primarily off-mall stores and expand and remodel existing stores on a timely and profitable basis. Accomplishing our new and existing store expansion goals will depend upon a number of factors, including the ability to partner with developers and landlords to obtain suitable sites for new and expanded stores at acceptable costs and on acceptable timelines, the hiring and training of qualified personnel and the integration of new stores into existing operations. There can be no assurance we will be able to achieve our store expansion goals, manage our growth effectively, successfully integrate the planned new stores into our operations or operate our new, remodeled and expanded stores profitably. These risks could have a material adverse effect on our ability to grow and results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Our international operations and our plans for international expansion include risks that could impact our results and reputation.
We intend to continue to operate internationally and further expand into international markets, including through partner arrangements. The risks associated with international markets include, among others, difficulties in attracting customers due to a lack of customer familiarity with our brand, our lack of familiarity with local customer preferences, cultures or religious norms and seasonal differences in the international markets. Any of these difficulties may lead to disruption in the overall timing of our international expansion efforts and increased costs. Further, entry into other markets may bring us into competition with new competitors or with existing competitors with an established market presence in such markets. Other risks include general economic conditions in specific countries or markets, reliance on franchise and other partners that we do not control, volatility in the geopolitical landscape, restrictions on the repatriation of funds held internationally, disruptions or delays in shipments, occurrence of significant health hazards or pandemics, changes in diplomatic and trade relationships, political instability and foreign governmental regulation. Such expansions will also have upfront investment costs that may not be accompanied by sufficient revenues to achieve expected operational and financial performance.
Further, our results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected by fluctuations in currency exchange rates. See “Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates could impact our financial condition and results of operations” below.
These risks could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Our licensees, franchisees and wholesalers could take actions that could harm our business or brand images.
We have global representation through digital sites and stores independently owned and/or operated by our franchise partners. Although we have criteria to evaluate and select prospective partners, the level of control we can exercise over our partners is limited, and the quality and success of their operations may be diminished by any number of factors beyond our control. For example, our partners may not have the business acumen or financial resources necessary to successfully operate stores in a manner consistent with our standards and may not hire and train qualified store managers and other personnel. Further, we have no control as to whether our partners comply with applicable laws and regulations in the international markets in which they operate. Our brand image and reputation may suffer materially, and our sales could decline, if our partners do not operate successfully. These risks could have an adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Our direct channel business includes risks that could have a material adverse effect on our results.
Our direct channel (also referred to as digital or e-commerce) is subject to numerous risks that could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. Such risks include, but are not limited to, the difficulty in recreating the in-store experience through our direct channels; domestic or international resellers purchasing merchandise and reselling it outside our control; our ability to anticipate and implement innovations in technology and logistics in order to appeal to existing and potential customers who increasingly rely on multiple channels to meet their shopping needs; and the failure of and risks related to the systems that operate our and our third-party partners' web infrastructure, websites and the related support systems, including computer viruses, malware (including, without limitation, ransomware), unauthorized access to and theft of customer information, privacy violations, information technology and vendor system failures, electronic break-ins, disruption of critical services caused by security threats and similar disruptions.
Our failure to maintain efficient and uninterrupted order-taking and fulfillment operations could also have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. We utilize third-party service providers for order management and for a majority of our fulfillment services. If these third-party service providers do not maintain efficient and uninterrupted service, we have experienced, and may in the future experience, merchandise delivery delays, loss of sales, stranded inventory, cancellation charges or excessive promotional activity to clear inventory. Further, we may have difficulty replacing these third-party service providers and there can be no assurance we can do so in a timely manner or on terms favorable to us. The satisfaction of our direct channel customers depends on their timely receipt of merchandise. If we encounter difficulties with the distribution facilities, or if the facilities were to shut down for any reason, including as a result of a pandemic, fire, natural disaster or work stoppage, we could face shortages of inventory; we could incur significantly higher costs and longer lead times associated with distributing our products to our customers; we could face regulatory scrutiny; and our customer may be dissatisfied.
Any of these issues could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Our ability to protect our reputation could have a material adverse effect on our brand image.
Our ability to maintain our reputation is critical to our brand image. Our reputation could be jeopardized if we fail to maintain high standards for store and merchandise quality and integrity. Any negative publicity, including information publicized through traditional or social media platforms and similar venues such as blogs, websites and other forums, may affect our reputation and brand and, consequently, reduce demand for our merchandise, even if such publicity is unverified or inaccurate.
Failure to comply with or the perception that the Company has failed to comply with ethical, social, product, labor, privacy, systems and data security and environmental standards, or related political considerations, could also jeopardize our reputation and potentially lead to various adverse consumer actions, including boycotts. Failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations, to maintain an effective system of internal controls, to maintain the security of customer, associate, third-party and company information or to provide accurate and timely financial statement information could also hurt our reputation. Damage to our reputation or loss of consumer confidence for any of these or other reasons could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows, as well as require additional resources to rebuild our reputation.
Our ability, or perceived inability, to complete environmental, social and governance ("ESG") initiatives may have a material adverse effect on our reputation.
There has been an increased focus, including from investors and other stakeholders, the general public and U.S. and foreign governmental and nongovernmental organizations, on ESG initiatives, including with respect to climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, packaging and waste, diversity, equity and inclusion, worker pay and benefits, human rights, sustainable supply chain practices, animal health and welfare, deforestation and land, energy and water use. As part of our ongoing efforts, we maintain an ESG function to provide direction and coordinate ESG work throughout the Company. We anticipate increased public, regulatory and investor pressure to expand our disclosures in these areas, make further commitments, set additional targets or establish additional goals and take actions to meet them, which could expose us to market, operational, regulatory, legal and execution costs or risks. The metrics we disclose, whether they are based on the standards we set for ourselves or those set by others, may influence our reputation and the value of our brand. Our failure to achieve progress on our metrics and successfully achieve our targets and goals on a timely basis, or at all, could adversely affect our business, financial performance and growth. By electing to set and share publicly these metrics, targets and goals and expand upon our disclosures, our business may also face increased scrutiny related to ESG activities. As a result, we could damage our reputation and the value of our brand if we fail to act responsibly. Any harm to our reputation resulting from setting these metrics, targets and goals or expanding our disclosure or our failure, or perceived failure, to meet such metrics, targets and goals could adversely affect our business, financial performance and growth.
We could also be affected by the physical effects of climate change and other environmental issues, to the extent such issues adversely affect the general economy, adversely impact our supply chain or our stores or increase the costs of our products and other supplies needed for our operations. In addition, future domestic and international legislative and regulatory efforts to combat climate change or other environmental considerations could result in increased regulation and additional taxes and other expenses in a manner that adversely affects our business, financial performance and growth.
We may not realize the anticipated benefits from our enterprise-wide profit optimization efforts to reduce expenses and improve operating efficiency in the business.
In February 2023, we announced that we are undertaking enterprise-wide profit optimization efforts to reduce expenses and improve operating efficiency in the business. We recently engaged external advisors to assist in a comprehensive analysis of margin expansion and expense reduction opportunities with the goal of positioning the business for improved profitability. The estimated cost savings associated with this effort are preliminary and may vary materially based on various factors including: time to execute these efforts and changes in management's assumptions and projections, which may be caused by a change in customer behavior due to macroeconomic conditions or otherwise. As a result of these events and circumstances, delays and unexpected costs may occur, which could result in our not realizing all, or any, of the anticipated benefits of these efforts.
If our marketing, advertising and promotional programs are unsuccessful, or if our competitors are more effective with their programs than we are, our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows may be adversely affected.
Customer traffic and demand for our merchandise are influenced by our advertising, marketing and promotional activities, the name recognition and reputation of our brand and the location of and service offered in our stores and through our direct business. Although we use marketing, advertising and promotional programs to attract customers through various media, including social media, websites, mobile applications, email and print, some of our competitors may expend more for their programs than we do or use different approaches than we do, which may provide them with a competitive advantage. Our programs may not be effective or could require increased expenditures, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Our ability to adequately maintain, enforce and protect our trade names, trademarks and patents could have an impact on our brand image and ability to penetrate new markets.
We believe that our trade names, trademarks and patents are important assets and an essential element of our strategy. We have obtained or applied for federal registration of these trade names, trademarks and patents and have applied for or obtained registrations in many foreign countries. There can be no assurance that we will obtain such applied for registrations or that the registrations we obtain will prevent the imitation of our products or infringement or other violation of our intellectual property
rights by others. In particular, the laws of certain foreign countries may not protect proprietary rights to the same extent as the laws of the U.S. If any third party copies our products, our or our partners' websites or our or our partners' stores in a manner that projects lesser quality or carries a negative connotation, it could have a material adverse effect on our brand image and reputation as well as our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Third parties may assert rights in or ownership of our trademarks and other intellectual property rights, or trademarks that are similar to our trademarks, or claim that we are infringing, misappropriating or otherwise violating their intellectual property rights. We may be unable to successfully resolve these types of conflicts to our satisfaction and may be required to enter into costly license agreements, be required to pay significant royalties, settlement costs or damages, be required to rebrand our products and/or be prevented from selling some of our products.
Our ability to compete favorably in our highly competitive segments of the retail industry could impact our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
The retail industry is highly competitive. We compete for sales with a broad range of other retailers, including individual and chain specialty stores, department stores and discount retailers. In addition to the traditional store-based retailers, we also compete with direct marketers or retailers that sell similar lines of merchandise and who target customers through online channels. Brand image, marketing, design, price, service, assortment, quality, image presentation and fulfillment are all competitive factors in both the store-based and online channels.
Some of our competitors may have greater financial, marketing and other resources available and trends across our product categories may favor our competitors. We rely to a greater degree than some of our competitors on physical locations in retail centers. Therefore, declines in traffic to such locations may affect us more significantly than our competitors. Some of our competitors sell their products in stores that are located in the same retail centers as our stores. In addition to competing for sales, we compete for favorable site locations and lease terms in retail centers.
Increased competition, combined with declines in store and/or direct channel traffic, could result in price reductions, increased marketing expenditures and loss of pricing power and market share, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Our ability to manage the life cycles of our brand and to remain current with trends and launch new product lines successfully could impact the image and relevance of our brand.
Our success depends in part on management’s ability to effectively manage the life cycles of our brand, to anticipate and respond to changing preferences and consumer demands and to translate market trends into appropriate, saleable product offerings in advance of the actual time of sale to the customer. We are dependent on certain product categories, and a decline in customer demand in these product categories could negatively impact our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. Customer demands and trends change rapidly. If we are unable to successfully anticipate, identify or react to changing preferences or trends or we misjudge the market for our products or any new product lines, our sales will be lower, potentially resulting in significant amounts of unsold inventory. In response, we may be forced to increase our marketing promotions or price markdowns and potentially discontinue a product line. These risks could have a material adverse effect on our brand image and reputation as well as our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We may be impacted by our ability to adequately source, distribute and sell merchandise and other materials on a global basis.
We source merchandise and other materials directly in domestic and international markets. We distribute merchandise and other materials globally to our partners in international locations and to our stores. Many of our imports and exports are subject to a variety of customs regulations and international trade arrangements, including existing or potential duties, tariffs or safeguard quotas. We also compete with other companies for production facilities.
We also face a variety of other risks generally associated with doing business on a global basis. For example:
•political instability, geopolitical conflict, including the war between Russia and Ukraine, environmental hazards or natural disasters which could negatively affect international economies, financial markets and business activity;
•significant health hazards or pandemics, including the COVID-19 pandemic, which could result in closed factories, distribution centers and/or stores, reduced workforces, scarcity of raw materials and scrutiny or embargoing of goods produced in infected areas;
•imposition of new or retaliatory trade duties, sanctions or taxes and other charges on imports or exports;
•evolving, new or complex legal and regulatory matters;
•volatility in currency exchange rates;
•local business practice and political issues (including issues relating to compliance with domestic or international labor standards) which may result in adverse publicity or threatened or actual adverse consumer actions, including boycotts;
•delays or disruptions in shipping and transportation and related pricing impacts;
•disruption due to labor disputes; and
•changing expectations regarding product safety due to new legislation or other factors.
Certain goods that we import are sourced from third-party suppliers in China. Our ability to successfully import such materials may be adversely affected by changes in U.S. laws. For example, in December 2021, the U.S. Congress passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (“UFLPA”), which imposed a presumptive ban on the import of goods to the U.S. that are made, wholly or in part, in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China (“XUAR”) or by persons that participate in certain programs in the XUAR that entail the use of forced labor. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) has published both a list of entities that are known to utilize forced labor, and a list of commodities that are most at risk, such as cotton, tomatoes and silica-based products. Although none of our Chinese suppliers are located in the XUAR, we do not currently have full visibility to the entirety of each supplier's separate supply chains to be able to ensure that the raw materials or other inputs they use to manufacture their goods are not produced in the XUAR. As a result of the UFLPA, materials we import into the U.S. could be held by the CBP based on a suspicion that inputs used in such materials originated from the XUAR or that they may have been produced by Chinese suppliers accused of participating in forced labor, pending our providing satisfactory evidence to the contrary. Among other consequences, such an outcome could result in negative publicity that harms our brand and reputation and could result in a delay or complete inability to import such materials, which could result in inventory shortages and greater supply chain compliance costs.
We also rely upon third-party transportation providers for substantially all of our product shipments, including shipments to and from our distribution centers, to our stores and to our customers. Our utilization of these delivery services for shipments is subject to risks, including increases in labor costs and fuel prices, which would increase our shipping costs, and associate strikes and inclement weather, which may impact our transportation providers’ ability to provide delivery services that adequately meet our shipping needs. Further, the rapid increase in demand for online shopping has led to increased pressure on the capacity of our fulfillment network.
The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the global economy, disrupted consumer spending and global supply chains and created significant volatility of financial markets. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have the potential to significantly impact our supply chain if the factories that manufacture our products, the distribution centers where we manage our inventory, or the operations of our logistics and other service providers are disrupted, are temporarily closed or experience worker shortages. For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic previously caused, and may in the future cause, vessel, container and other transportation shortages, labor shortages and port congestion globally, which delayed, and may in the future delay, inventory orders and, in turn, deliveries to our customers and availability in our or our partners’ stores and e-commerce sites. Further, disruptions or delays in shipments may have negative impacts to pricing of certain components of our products. In addition, the impact of COVID-19 on macroeconomic conditions may impact the proper functioning of financial and capital markets, foreign currency exchange rates, commodity prices and interest rates.
We rely on a number of vendor and distribution facilities located in the same vicinity, making our business susceptible to local and regional disruptions or adverse conditions.
To achieve the necessary speed and agility in producing our products, we rely heavily on vendor and distribution facilities in close proximity to our headquarters in Central Ohio. As a result of geographic concentration of many of the vendor and distribution facilities that we rely upon, our operations are susceptible to local and regional factors, such as accidents, system failures, economic and weather conditions, natural disasters, demographic and population changes and other unforeseen events and circumstances. Any significant interruption in the operations of these facilities could lead to inventory issues, increased costs or interruptions to our operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
A change in the relationship with our key vendors could have a material effect on our business.
We rely on a limited number of vendors to support our inventory purchasing needs. In 2022, our largest vendor supplied approximately 13% of our total merchandise purchases and our largest five vendors supplied approximately 38% of our total merchandise purchases on a combined basis. Our business depends on developing and maintaining close relationships with our vendors and on our vendors’ ability or willingness to sell quality products to us at favorable prices and on other favorable terms. Many factors outside of our control may harm these relationships and the ability or willingness of these vendors to sell us products on favorable terms. For example, financial or operational difficulties that our vendors may face could increase the cost of the products we purchase from them or our ability to source products from them.
We may be impacted by our vendors’ ability to manufacture and deliver products in a timely manner, meet quality standards and comply with applicable laws and regulations.
We purchase products from third-party vendors. Factors outside our control, such as production issues, shipping delays, quality problems or natural disasters, could disrupt merchandise deliveries and result in lost sales, cancellation charges or excessive markdowns.
In addition, quality problems could result in product liability judgments or widespread product recalls that may negatively impact our sales and profitability for a period of time depending on product availability, reaction of competitors and consumer attitudes. Even if product liability claims are unsuccessful or are not fully pursued, the negative publicity surrounding any assertions could adversely impact our reputation with existing and potential customers and our brand image.
Our business could also suffer if our third-party vendors fail to comply with applicable laws and regulations. While our internal and vendor operating guidelines promote ethical business practices and our associates and third-party compliance auditors visit and monitor the operations of our third-party vendors, we do not control these vendors or their practices. Violations of labor, environmental or other laws by third-party vendors used by us or the divergence of a third-party vendor’s or partner’s labor or environmental practices from those generally accepted as ethical or appropriate could interrupt or otherwise disrupt the shipment of finished products to us or damage our reputation.
These risks could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates could impact our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We are exposed to foreign currency exchange rate risk with respect to our sales, profits, assets and liabilities denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. In addition, our royalty arrangements are calculated based on sales in local currency and, as such, we are exposed to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations. Although we use foreign currency forward contracts to hedge certain foreign currency risks, these measures may not succeed in offsetting all of the short-term negative impacts of foreign currency rate movements on our business and results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. Hedging would generally not be effective in offsetting the long-term impact of sustained shifts in foreign exchange rates on our business results. As a result, the fluctuation in the value of the U.S. dollar against other currencies could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Our results may be affected by fluctuations in product input costs.
Product input costs, including freight, labor and raw materials, fluctuate subject to price volatility caused by any fluctuation in aggregate supply and demand or other external conditions, such as inflationary conditions, weather and climate conditions, geopolitical conflicts and wars, energy costs, natural events or disasters, taxes and tariffs (including as a result of trade disputes), industry demand, labor shortages, transportation issues, fuel costs, product recalls, governmental regulation and other factors, all of which are beyond our control and in many instances are unpredictable. These factors may result in an increase in our product input costs. We may not be able to, or may elect not to, fully pass these increases on to our customers which may adversely impact our profit margins. These risks could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Our results may be affected by fluctuations in energy costs.
Energy costs have fluctuated in the past and may fluctuate in the future due to changes in factors beyond our control, such as weather and climate conditions or natural events or disasters, taxes and tariffs (including as a result of trade disputes), industry demand, high demand for renewable energy, inflationary conditions, labor shortages, transportation issues, fuel costs, geopolitical conflicts and wars, governmental regulation and other factors. These fluctuations may result in an increase in our transportation costs for distribution, utility costs for our retail stores, distribution centers and other Company locations and costs to purchase products from our manufacturers. A continual rise in energy costs could adversely affect consumer spending and demand for our products and increase our operating costs, both of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Our results may be impacted by our ability to adequately protect our assets from loss and theft.
Our assets are subject to loss, including those caused by illegal or unethical conduct by associates, customers, vendors, partners or unaffiliated third parties. We experience events that cause inventory shrinkage, and we cannot assure that incidences of loss and theft will decrease in the future or that the measures we are taking will effectively reduce these losses. Higher rates of loss
or increased security costs to combat theft could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We may be impacted by increases in the cost of mailing, paper, printing or other order fulfillment logistics.
Postal rate increases and paper and printing costs will affect the cost of our order fulfillment and promotional mailings. We rely on discounts from the basic postal rate structure, such as discounts for bulk mailings and sorting. Future paper and postal rate increases could adversely impact our earnings if we are unable to recover these costs or if we are unable to implement more efficient printing, mailing, delivery and order fulfillment systems. We may face unexpected costs in transportation, warehousing or other logistics-related services. These risks could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We self-insure certain risks and may be impacted by unfavorable claims experience.
We are self-insured for various types of insurable risks including associate medical benefits, workers’ compensation, property, general liability and automobile, up to certain stop-loss limits. Claims are difficult to predict and may be volatile. Any adverse claims experience could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We significantly rely on our and our third-party service providers', including Victoria's Secret & Co., ability to implement and sustain information technology systems and to protect associated data and system availability.
Our success depends, in part, on the secure and uninterrupted performance of our and our third-party service providers' and vendors' information technology systems. Our information technology systems, as well as those of our service providers and vendors, are vulnerable to damage, interruption, service availability or breach from a variety of sources, including cyberattacks, ransomware attacks, telecommunication failures, malicious human acts and natural disasters. Moreover, despite maintaining comprehensive measures, some of our systems, e-commerce environments and servers and those of our service providers and vendors are potentially vulnerable to physical or electronic break-ins, malware (including, without limitation, ransomware), computer viruses and similar disruptive problems. Such incidents have disrupted, and could in the future further disrupt, our operations (whether directly or due to disruptions of our service providers’ and vendors’ operations) including our ability to timely ship and track product orders and project inventory requirements and lead to interruptions or delays in our supply chain. Additionally, these types of problems could result in an actual or perceived breach of confidential customer, merchandise, financial, associate or other important information (including personal information), which could result in damage to our reputation, costly litigation, customer complaints, negative publicity, breach notification obligations, regulatory or administrative sanctions, inquiries, orders or investigations, indemnity obligations, damages for contract breach or penalties for violations of applicable laws or regulations. The increased use of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices may also heighten these and other operational risks. Despite the precautions we have taken, unanticipated problems or events may nevertheless cause failures in, or unauthorized access to, our and our third-party service providers’ and vendors' information technology systems. Sustained or repeated system disruptions that interrupt our ability to process orders and deliver products to the stores or directly to our customers, impact our ability to process transactions in our stores, impact our customers’ ability to access our websites and mobile applications in a timely manner or expose confidential customer, merchandise, financial, associate or other important information (including personal information) could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We are party to a multi-year Transition Services Agreement with Victoria's Secret & Co. for certain information technology services and systems to support the day-to-day needs for most areas of technology. Over time, we will transition these information technology capabilities from Victoria's Secret & Co. to implement point-of-sale, mobile applications, merchandising, planning, sourcing, logistics, inventory management, human resources and financial systems to the platforms of our other third-party service providers and vendors or on to our own platforms, some of which are yet to be established.
As systems are provided, supported and managed by Victoria's Secret & Co. and transitioned to us or our third-party service providers or vendors, we are required to establish a number of new information technology systems as well as make hardware, software and code modifications and upgrades to certain existing information technology systems. The transition involves replacing existing systems with successor systems, making changes to existing systems, acquiring new systems with new functionality and engaging with qualified third-party service providers and vendors to utilize their systems. We are aware of inherent risks associated with replacing and modifying our information technology systems as well as the risks of transitioning information technology services to third-party service providers and vendors, including in each case risks relative to data integrity, internal controls over financial reporting and system disruptions. Information technology system disruptions or data corruption, if not appropriately mitigated, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We use, and as part of the transition of information technology services from Victoria’s Secret & Co. will increasingly use, third-party service providers to store, transmit and otherwise process certain of this information on our behalf, and our third-party service providers are subject to cybersecurity and privacy risks similar to us. Due to applicable laws and regulations or
contractual obligations, we may be held responsible for any cybersecurity incidents or privacy violations attributed to our service providers as they relate to the information we share with them or to which they are granted access. Although we contractually require these service providers to implement and maintain a standard of security (such as implementing reasonable measures) and comply with applicable law, we cannot control third parties and cannot guarantee that a security breach or privacy violation will not occur in connection with their systems and practices.
Any significant compromise or breach of our data security, including the security of customer, associate, third-party or Company information, could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
In the operation of our business, we collect, use, transmit and otherwise process a large volume of personal and other confidential, proprietary and sensitive information. Information systems are susceptible to an increasing threat of continually evolving cybersecurity risks. Breaches or failures of security involving our information systems, including those provided, managed and supported by Victoria's Secret & Co., or those of any of our other third-party service providers have occurred, and in the future may occur. Any significant compromise or breach of our data security, media reports about such an incident, whether accurate or not, or our failure to make adequate or timely disclosures to the public or law enforcement agencies following any such event, whether due to delayed discovery or a failure to follow existing protocols, could significantly damage our reputation with our customers, associates, investors and other third parties, cause the disclosure of personal, confidential, proprietary or sensitive customer, associate, third-party or Company information, cause interruptions to our operations and distraction to our management, cause our customers to stop shopping with us, inhibit our ability to attract new customers and result in significant legal, regulatory and financial liabilities and lost revenues. Compounding these risks is the complexity of our information systems, which are a collection of our and our third-party service providers’ systems, and increased associated risks related to transitioning information systems from Victoria's Secret & Co. to other third-party service providers and us.
While we train our associates, have implemented systems, processes and security measures to protect our physical facilities and information technology systems against unauthorized access and prevent data loss and vetted our third-party service providers' systems, processes and security measures, there is no guarantee that these procedures are adequate to safeguard against all data security threats to us or our third-party service providers. Despite these measures, we have been and may in the future be vulnerable to targeted or random attacks on our systems that could lead to security breaches, denial of service, vandalism, computer viruses, malware, ransomware, misplaced, corrupted or lost data, programming and/or human errors or similar events. Our systems and facilities (and the systems of our third-party service providers) are also subject to compromise from internal threats, such as theft, misuse, unauthorized access or other improper actions by associates, contractors and third-party service providers with otherwise legitimate access to our (or such third-party service providers') systems, websites, mobile applications or facilities (which risks may be heightened as a result of our associates working-from-home). Furthermore, because the methods of cyberattack and deception change frequently, are increasingly complex and sophisticated and can originate from a wide variety of sources, including nation-state actors, despite our reasonable efforts to ensure the confidentiality, availability and integrity of our systems, websites and mobile applications, it is possible that we may not be able to anticipate, detect, appropriately react and respond to or implement effective preventative measures against all cybersecurity incidents, and our third-party service providers may be subject to the same risks.
We have and may in the future be required to expend significant capital and other resources to protect against, respond to and recover from any potential, attempted or existing cybersecurity incidents. As cybersecurity incidents continue to evolve, we may be required to expend significant additional resources to continue to modify or enhance our protective measures or to investigate and remediate any information security vulnerabilities. In addition, our remediation efforts may not be successful or may not be completed in a timely manner. The inability to implement, maintain and upgrade adequate safeguards could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. Moreover, there could be public announcements regarding any cybersecurity incidents and any steps we take to respond to or remediate such incidents, and if securities analysts or investors perceive these announcements to be negative, it could, among other things, have a substantial adverse effect on the price of our common stock.
While we currently maintain cybersecurity insurance, such insurance may not be sufficient in type or amount to cover us against claims related to breaches, violations of law, failures or other data security-related incidents, and we cannot be certain that cyber insurance will continue to be available to us on economically reasonable terms, or at all, or that any insurer will not deny coverage as to any future claim. The successful assertion of one or more large claims against us that exceed available insurance coverage or the occurrence of changes in our insurance policies, including premium increases or the imposition of large deductible or co-insurance requirements, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Risks related to our common stock:
Our stock price may be volatile.
Our stock price may fluctuate substantially as a result of variations in our actual or projected performance or the financial performance of other companies in the retail industry. Any guidance that we provide is based on goals that we believe are reasonably attainable at the time guidance is given. If, or when, we announce actual results that differ from those that have been predicted by us, outside investment analysts or others, our stock price could be adversely affected. Investors who rely on these predictions when making investment decisions with respect to our securities do so at their own risk.
The stock market in general has experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have often been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of listed companies. In particular, our common stock may in the future be traded by short sellers which may put pressure on the supply and demand for our common stock, further influencing volatility in its market price. Public perception and other factors outside of our control may additionally impact the stock price of companies like us that garner a disproportionate degree of public attention, regardless of actual operating performance.
If we are unable to pay quarterly dividends or repurchase our shares at intended levels, our reputation and stock price may be impacted.
Quarterly cash dividends and share repurchase programs have historically been part of our capital allocation strategy. We are not required to declare dividends or make any share repurchases under our share repurchase programs in the future. For example, in 2020, we did not repurchase any of our shares, and we suspended our quarterly cash dividends due to the anticipated impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Board will determine our future levels of dividend payments and share repurchase authorizations, if any, giving consideration to our levels of profit and cash flow, capital requirements, current and forecasted liquidity and the restrictions placed upon us by our borrowing arrangements, as well as financial and other conditions which may be beyond our control. Any reduction, or failure, to pay dividends or repurchase our shares after we have announced our intention to do so may negatively impact our reputation, investor confidence in us and our stock price.
Shareholder activism could cause us to incur significant expense, impact the execution of our business strategy and have an adverse effect on our business.
Shareholder activism, which can take many forms and arise in a variety of situations, could result in substantial costs and divert our attention and resources from our business and our ability to execute our strategic plans. Additionally, such shareholder activism could give rise to perceived uncertainties as to our future, adversely affect our relationships with our associates, customers or service providers and make it more difficult to attract and retain qualified personnel. Also, we may be required to incur significant fees and other expenses related to activist shareholder matters, including for third-party advisors. Our stock price could be subject to significant fluctuation or otherwise be adversely affected by the events, risks and uncertainties of any shareholder activism.
Risks related to our indebtedness:
Our ability to maintain our credit ratings could affect our ability to access capital and could increase our interest expense.
The credit rating agencies periodically review our capital structure and the quality and stability of our earnings. A deterioration in our capital structure or the quality and stability of our earnings could result in a downgrade of our credit ratings. Any negative ratings actions could constrain the capital available to our Company or our industry and could limit our access to funding for our operations. We are dependent upon our ability to access capital at rates and on terms we determine to be attractive. If our ability to access capital becomes constrained, our interest costs will likely increase, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. Additionally, changes to our credit ratings could affect our future interest costs.
We may be unable to service or refinance our debt or maintain compliance with restrictive covenants in our debt instruments, including our asset-backed revolving credit facility.
We currently have substantial indebtedness. Our asset-backed revolving credit facility (the "ABL Facility") contains a covenant and negative covenants that under certain circumstances require maintenance of a certain financial ratio and also, under certain conditions, restrict our ability to pay dividends, repurchase shares of our common stock and make other restricted payments as defined in the agreement. Our cash flow from operations provides the primary source of funds for our debt service payments. If our cash flow from operations declines, we may be unable to service or refinance our current debt. If we fail to comply with any covenant, including our financial covenant, it could result in an event of default and our lenders could terminate the commitments under our ABL Facility and make the entire debt incurred thereunder immediately due and payable, or we may be forced to sell assets, restructure our indebtedness or seek additional equity capital, which would dilute our stockholders’ interests.
The interest rates on our credit facilities may be impacted by the phase-out of LIBOR and the transition to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”).
Interest rates on U.S. borrowings under our ABL Facility are based on LIBOR. On July 27, 2017, the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (the authority that administers LIBOR) announced that it intends to phase out LIBOR by the end of 2023. It remains unclear what rate or rates may develop as accepted alternatives to LIBOR or what the effect of such changes will be on the markets for LIBOR-based financial instruments. As of the date hereof, the current recommended replacement for USD-LIBOR is SOFR. While we currently do not have any borrowings outstanding under our ABL Facility, any transition away from LIBOR as a benchmark for establishing the applicable interest rate is complex and will affect the cost of servicing any future debt under our ABL Facility. Although the ABL Facility provides for alternative base rates, the composition and characteristics of such alternative base rates are not the same as those of LIBOR, and the consequences of the phase-out of LIBOR cannot be entirely predicted at this time.
Risks related to law and regulation:
Changes in laws, regulations or technology platform rules relating to privacy and data security, or any actual or perceived failure by us to comply with such laws and regulations, or contractual or other obligations relating to privacy and data security, could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We are, and may increasingly become, subject to various laws, directives, industry standards and regulations, as well as contractual obligations, relating to privacy and data security in the jurisdictions in which we operate and may in the future operate. The legal and regulatory environment related to privacy and data security is increasingly rigorous, with new and constantly changing requirements applicable to our business, and enforcement practices are likely to remain uncertain for the foreseeable future. These laws and regulations may be interpreted and applied differently over time and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and it is possible that the laws and regulations will be interpreted and applied in ways that may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
In the U.S., privacy and data protection are regulated at federal, state and local levels. Various federal and state regulators, including governmental agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission, have adopted, or are considering adopting, laws and regulations concerning privacy and data security and have prioritized privacy and data security violations for enforcement actions. Certain state laws are, and in the future may continue to be, more stringent or broader in scope, or offer greater individual rights, with respect to personal information than federal, international or other state laws, and such laws may differ from each other, all of which complicates compliance efforts and increases risks to our business.
These laws and regulations range from the “sectoral” variety (i.e., laws that govern specific practices, services or technologies) to omnibus laws (i.e., laws that comprehensively seek to govern all aspects of data processing practices). As an omnichannel retailer, we are subject to both.
In North America, we are subject to sectoral laws that impose different enforcement regimes, whether enforced by government agencies or class action litigants, with fines and statutory damages that can result in significant exposure when applied to large customer segments. Illustrative of the sectoral variety are laws that govern telephonic communications (e.g., the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act), email communications (e.g., the Federal Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act and Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation), the use of biometric technology (e.g., the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act), the printing of payment card numbers on certain transaction receipts (e.g., the Federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act), the use of call recordings (e.g., federal and state laws governing unlawful surveillance and consent for recordings), the collection of consumer information at retail point of sale (e.g., the California Song-Beverly Act), and the collection of driver’s license information (e.g., state laws governing the scanning of government identification).
We are further subject to omnibus privacy and data protection laws. For example, the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”) broadly governs data privacy practices, increases privacy rights for California residents and imposes obligations on companies that process their personal information. Among other things, the CCPA requires covered companies to provide new disclosures to California consumers and provide such consumers data protection and privacy rights, including the ability to opt-out of certain disclosures of their personal information and the ability to access and delete personal information. The CCPA provides for civil penalties for violations, as well as a private right of action for certain data breaches that result in the loss of certain classifications of personal information. This private right of action may increase the likelihood of, and risks associated with, data breach litigation. Furthermore, the California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 (“CPRA”) became effective on January 1, 2023. The CPRA imposes additional obligations on companies covered by the legislation, including by expanding California residents’ rights with respect to certain sensitive personal information. The CPRA also created a new state agency that is vested with authority to implement and enforce the CCPA and CPRA. Other states and countries have passed comprehensive data privacy laws that are similar to the CCPA and CPRA, further complicating the legal landscape, and similar bills are making their way through several state legislatures. In addition, laws in all 50 U.S. states require businesses to provide notice to
consumers (and, in some cases, to regulators) of data breaches, which are when certain types of personal information have been accessed or acquired without authorization. State laws are changing rapidly, and there are deliberations in Congress regarding the text of a new comprehensive federal data privacy law to which we would become subject if it is enacted. Such a law could add complexity, variation in requirements, restrictions and potential legal risk. Moreover, it could require additional investment of resources in compliance programs, impact strategies and the availability of previously useful data and result in increased compliance costs or changes in business practices and policies.
While most of our international operations are conducted through franchise, license and wholesale arrangements, we are also subject to certain international laws, regulations and standards in certain international jurisdictions and may be subject to additional international laws, regulations and standards, whether existing or enacted in the future, that apply broadly to the collection, use, retention, security, disclosure, transfer and other processing of personal information. In Canada, we are subject to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”) as well as substantially similar provincial privacy laws. These privacy statutes broadly govern the entire lifecycle of personal information, enumerating principles that govern accountability; purpose; consent; limitations on collection, use, disclosure and retention; accuracy; safeguards; transparency; right to access and correct; and complaint-handling. Certain of the statutes also contain a mandatory breach notification regime. Canadian federal and provincial authorities enforce these laws. Privacy regulators have an express obligation to investigate complaints and have the authority to initiate investigations. Under PIPEDA, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has the power to require an organization to enter into a compliance agreement and failure to comply may result in a court order or court proceedings. A complainant may also appeal to Federal Court, and the court has broad authority including awarding damages. Similarly, the European Union's ("EU") General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) greatly increased the European Commission’s jurisdictional reach of its laws and added a broad array of requirements for handling personal data. Further, the GDPR serves and has served as a model for other jurisdictions’ data protection laws, including without limitation, the U.K.'s Data Protection Act of 2018, which became law after the U.K. left the EU. Under the GDPR, EU member states have enacted certain implementing legislation that adds to and/or further interprets the GDPR requirements and, depending on the extent and degree to which we conduct business in the European Economic Area (“EEA”) and U.K., potentially extends our obligations and potential liability for failing to meet such obligations. The GDPR, together with national legislation, regulations and guidelines of the EEA states and the U.K. governing the processing of personal data, impose strict obligations and restrictions on the ability to collect, use, retain, protect, disclose, transfer and otherwise process personal data, and other international jurisdictions are expected to pass similar laws that may include even more stringent requirements. Changes in such international laws or changes in our business strategy such as direct expansions into additional jurisdictions may cause us to incur additional compliance costs, increase our risks of being subject to lawsuits, complaints and/or regulatory investigations or fines, or restrict our ability to transfer personal data between and among countries and regions in which we operate or may in the future operate. Such international laws, and our compliance with such laws, could impact the manner in which we do business and the geographical location or segregation of our relevant operations and could adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
All of these evolving compliance and operational requirements impose significant costs, such as costs related to organizational changes, investing in and implementing additional data protection technologies and other safeguards and training associates and engaging consultants, which are likely to increase over time. In addition, such requirements may require us to modify our data processing practices and policies and distract management or divert resources from other initiatives and projects, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows. Any failure or perceived failure by us or our partners to comply with any applicable federal, state or similar foreign laws and regulations relating to privacy and data security could result in damage to our reputation and our relationship with our customers, as well as proceedings or litigation by governmental agencies or customers, including class action privacy and data-protection litigation in certain jurisdictions, which could subject us to significant fines, sanctions, awards, penalties or judgments, any of which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We may be impacted by our ability to comply with legal and regulatory requirements.
We are subject to numerous legal and regulatory requirements. Our policies, procedures and internal controls are designed to comply with all applicable foreign and domestic laws and regulations, including those required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the U.K. Bribery Act, the SEC and the NYSE, among others. Although we have put in place policies and procedures aimed at ensuring legal and regulatory compliance, our associates, subcontractors, vendors, licensees, franchisees and other third parties could take actions that violate these laws and regulations. Any violations of such laws or regulations could have an adverse effect on our reputation, the market price of our common stock and our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
It can be difficult to comply with sometimes conflicting statutes or regulations in local, national or foreign jurisdictions as well as new or changing laws and regulations. Also, changes in such laws and regulations could make operating our business more expensive or require us to change the way we do business. For example, changes in product safety or other consumer protection laws could lead to increased costs for certain merchandise or additional labor costs associated with readying merchandise for
sale. We operate stores in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico, which requires us to comply with a myriad of provincial, state and local laws pertaining to all aspects of our business, including our associates and consumers. The trend for states and localities in the United States to legislate in the absence of national laws passed by the U.S. Congress has greatly increased the complexity of legal compliance for us. It may be difficult for us to comply with these laws, compliance may be costly and compliance and associated costs may negatively impact our operations.
We may be adversely impacted by certain compliance or legal matters.
We, along with third parties we do business with, are subject to complex compliance and litigation risks. Actions filed against us from time to time include commercial, tort, intellectual property, tax, customer, employment, wage and hour, privacy, securities, anti-corruption and other claims, including purported class action lawsuits. The cost of defending against these types of claims against us or the ultimate resolution of such claims, whether by settlement or adverse court decision, may harm our business. Further, potential claimants may be encouraged to bring suits based on a settlement from us or adverse court decisions against us. We cannot currently assess the likely outcome of such suits, but if the outcome were negative, it could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
In addition, we may be impacted by litigation trends, including class action lawsuits involving consumers and stockholders, that could have a material adverse effect on our reputation, the market price of our common stock and our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
We may be impacted by changes in taxation, trade and other regulatory requirements.
We are subject to income tax in local, national and international jurisdictions. In addition, our products are subject to import and excise duties and/or sales or value-added taxes in many jurisdictions. We are also subject to the examination of our tax returns and other tax matters by the IRS and other tax authorities and governmental bodies. We regularly assess the likelihood of an adverse outcome resulting from these examinations to determine the adequacy of our provision for taxes. There can be no assurance as to the outcome of these examinations. Fluctuations in tax rates and duties, changes in tax legislation or regulation or adverse outcomes of these examinations could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
There is increased uncertainty with respect to tax policy and trade relations between the U.S. and other countries, including as a result of any executive action taken or legislative priorities set by the current U.S. presidential administration. Major developments in tax policy or trade relations, such as the imposition of unilateral tariffs on imported products, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS.
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES.
The following table provides the location, use and size of our Company-operated distribution, fulfillment, office and product development facilities as of January 28, 2023:
|Columbus, Ohio area||Office, distribution and fulfillment centers and shipping facilities||4,951,000 |
|Other North America||Office and product development/design||69,000 |
We own five office, distribution center and shipping facilities located in the Columbus, Ohio area comprising approximately 3.9 million square feet. In addition, during Fall of 2022, we completed construction of a new 1.1 million square foot leased direct channel fulfillment center located near Columbus, Ohio.
We also lease various other office and product development/design locations in North America, primarily in New York.
As of January 28, 2023, we operated 1,693 and 109 retail stores located in leased facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada, respectively. A substantial portion of our U.S. store leases generally have an initial term of 10 years, while our Canadian store leases generally have initial terms of 5 to 10 years. Our store leases expire at various dates between 2023 and 2034.
Third-party Operated Fulfillment and Distribution Centers
We utilize six permanent third-party operated direct channel fulfillment centers in North America, comprising approximately 3.2 million square feet. We also utilize six third-party operated regional distribution centers in North America, comprising approximately 1.1 million square feet, that enable us to position inventory geographically closer to our customers.
International Partner-operated Stores
As of January 28, 2023, our partners operated 427 retail stores in more than 45 international countries.
ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.
We are a defendant in a variety of lawsuits arising in the ordinary course of business. Actions filed against our Company from time to time include commercial, tort, intellectual property, tax, customer, employment, wage and hour, data privacy, securities, anti-corruption and other claims, including purported class action lawsuits. Although it is not possible to predict with certainty the eventual outcome of any litigation, in the opinion of management, our current legal proceedings are not expected to have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act Cases
We were named as a defendant in three putative class actions: Smidga, et al. v. Bath & Body Works, LLC in the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas; Dahlin v. Bath & Body Works, LLC in the Santa Barbara County, California Superior Court; and Blanco v. Bath & Body Works, LLC in the Cook County, Illinois Circuit Court. The complaints each allege that we violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act by printing more than the last five digits of credit or debit card numbers on customers’ receipts and, among other things, seek statutory damages, attorneys’ fees and costs. Each of these cases are in the preliminary stages of litigation. We believe that we have strong defenses to the claims and intend to continue to vigorously defend ourself against the allegations and do not believe that the resolution of the cases, individually or in the aggregate, will have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES.
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES.
Our common stock is traded on the NYSE. As of January 28, 2023, the Company had approximately 30,000 stockholders of record. However, including active associates who participate in our associate stock purchase plan, associates who own shares through our sponsored retirement plan and others holding shares in broker accounts under street names, we estimate the shareholder base as of January 28, 2023 to be approximately 222,000.
We paid a quarterly dividend of $0.20 per share during each quarter of 2022. Our Board will determine future dividends after giving consideration to our levels of profit and cash flow, capital requirements, current and forecasted liquidity, the restrictions placed upon us by our borrowing arrangements, the macroeconomic environment as well as financial and other conditions existing at the time. We use cash flow generated from operating and financing activities to fund our dividends. For additional discussion regarding our dividends, see "Liquidity and Capital Resources" included under Item 7. of Part II of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The following graph shows the changes, over the past five-year period, in the value of $100 invested in our common stock, the Standard & Poor’s ("S&P") 500 Composite Stock Price Index and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Retail Composite Index.
COMPARISON OF FIVE YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN (a)(b)
AMONG BATH & BODY WORKS, INC., THE S&P 500 INDEX AND THE S&P 500 RETAIL COMPOSITE INDEX
(a)This table represents $100 invested in stock or in index at the closing price on February 3, 2018, including reinvestment of dividends.
(b)Stock prices prior to August 3, 2021 have been adjusted to give effect to the Victoria's Secret & Co. spin-off.
Common Stock Repurchases
The following table provides our repurchases of our common stock during the fourth quarter of 2022:
Part of Publicly
Dollar Value of Shares
Yet be Purchased
Under the Programs (c)
| ||(in thousands)|| ||(in thousands)|
|November 2022||5 ||$||33.07 ||— ||$||187,775 |
|December 2022||7 ||41.27 ||— ||187,775 |
|January 2023||2 ||43.72 ||— ||187,775 |
|Total||14 ||— |
(a)The total number of shares repurchased represent shares in connection with tax payments due upon vesting of associate restricted stock and performance share unit awards and the use of our stock to pay the exercise price on associate stock options.
(b)The average price paid per share includes any broker commissions.
(c)For additional share repurchase program information, see Note 15 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.
ITEM 6. [Reserved]
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.
The following discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations is based upon our Consolidated Financial Statements, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("GAAP") as codified in the Accounting Standards Codification ("ASC"). The following information should be read in conjunction with our financial statements and the related notes included in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.
Our operating results are generally impacted by economic changes and, therefore, we monitor the retail environment using, among other things, certain key industry performance indicators including competitor performance and store traffic data. These indicators can provide insight into consumer spending patterns and shopping behavior in the current retail environment and assist us in assessing our performance as well as the potential impact of industry trends on our future operating results. Additionally, we evaluate a number of key performance indicators including comparable sales, gross profit, operating income and other performance metrics such as sales per average selling square foot in assessing our performance.
On August 2, 2021, we completed the tax-free spin-off of our Victoria's Secret business, which included the Victoria's Secret and PINK brands, into an independent publicly traded company. Accordingly, the operating results of, and fees to separate, the Victoria's Secret business are reported in Income (Loss) from Discontinued Operations, Net of Tax in the Consolidated Statements of Income for all periods presented. Unless otherwise noted, all amounts, percentages and discussions reflect only the results of operations and financial condition of our continuing operations.
A discussion regarding our Financial Condition and Results of Operations for 2022 compared to 2021 (including the fourth quarter thereof) is presented below. A discussion regarding our Financial Condition and Results of Operations for 2021 compared to 2020 (including the fourth quarter thereof) can be found under Item 7. of Part II of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 29, 2022, filed with the SEC on March 18, 2022.
Fiscal 2022 was our first full-year as a standalone company following the separation of Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret & Co. in August 2021. During the year, we built on the past two years of growth, performing above pre-pandemic levels. Specifically, we focused on effectively navigating a challenging macroeconomic environment, controlling costs and improving efficiencies while accelerating investments in the business to drive our long-term growth and profitability and enhance stockholder value. We took the following actions to ensure the long-term profitability and success of our business:
•Leveraged agility in our vertically integrated and predominantly domestic supply chain, effectively managing inventory, responding to customer preferences and chasing our best performing products.
•Successfully launched our loyalty program nationwide in the U.S.
•Assessed and reacted quickly to a dynamic and challenging macroeconomic environment that included significant inflationary pressures, labor shortages and global supply chain challenges.
•Implemented purposeful changes to our organization to optimize our operations, costs and structure and improve our profitability.
•Completed the construction of our first direct fulfillment distribution center, which we expect will provide us with additional capacity for our direct channel and enhanced fulfillment capabilities for our business.
•Accelerated our information technology separation from Victoria’s Secret & Co. to support our long-term growth and profitability.
•Expanded BOPIS availability to over 800 more Company-operated stores, ending the year with BOPIS capabilities in more than 1,300 stores.
Fiscal 2022 Overview
For 2022, Net Sales decreased $322 million, or 4%, to $7.560 billion, compared to 2021. In our stores and direct channels, Net Sales decreased 4% to $5.476 billion, and 8% to $1.745 billion, respectively. In the stores channel, the decrease was primarily related to a decline in average dollar sales, partially offset by the incremental Net Sales originating from new stores. In the direct channel, the decrease was primarily related to a decline in orders. In our international business, Net Sales increased 20% to $339 million primarily due to the increases in partner-operated stores and e-commerce sites.
For 2022, our Gross Profit decreased $600 million, or 16%, to $3.255 billion compared to 2021, and our Gross Profit rate (expressed as a percentage of Net Sales) decreased 580 basis points. These decreases were primarily related to a significant decline in our merchandise margin rate driven by continued inflationary cost pressures and increased promotional activity, and the decline in Net Sales.
For 2022, our General, Administrative and Store Operating Expenses increased $33 million, or 2%, to $1.879 billion compared to 2021, and our General, Administrative and Store Operating Expenses rate (expressed as a percentage of Net Sales) increased 150 basis points. These increases were primarily due to our strategic investments in technology, in connection with our information technology ("IT") separation, and in customer-facing associate wages.
Taking the above into account, for 2022 our Operating Income decreased $633 million, or 32%, to $1.376 billion compared to 2021, and our Operating Income rate (expressed as a percentage of Net Sales) decreased 730 basis points.
For additional information related to our 2022 financial performance, see “Results of Operations – 2022 Compared to 2021.”
Fiscal 2023 Outlook
We expect ongoing macroeconomic uncertainty and customer price sensitivity in 2023. We expect fourth quarter 2022 sales trends to continue for the first half of 2023 and a moderate improvement in the back half of the year as we lap softening sales trends. We also expect inflationary cost pressures will continue in the first quarter and begin to moderate as we move through the year. In response, we will continue to test opportunities to increase our average unit retail prices and expand margin. Buying and Occupancy Expenses are expected to deleverage driven by the expected lower Net Sales and our anticipated investments in fulfillment and logistics capabilities to drive omnichannel growth, partially offset by the expected benefits of our profit optimization work (discussed below). General, Administrative and Store Operating Expenses are expected to deleverage primarily driven by our investments in customer-facing associate wages and technology separation, partially offset by the expected benefits of our profit optimization work.
We are working to evaluate our cost structure and take action to offset what we see as ongoing cost pressures in both Gross Profit and General, Administrative and Store Operating Expenses, as well as to fund strategic investments. Our efforts are broad-based with opportunities in transportation, product margin, store operations, home office expense and indirect spend. We are early in this process, but we are targeting eventual annual cost savings of $200 million. We expect to realize over half of these savings in 2023, primarily in the second half of the year. We expect to realize a substantial portion of the remaining benefits in 2024.
Adjusted Financial Information from Continuing Operations
In addition to our results provided in accordance with GAAP above and throughout this Annual Report on Form 10-K, provided below are non-GAAP measurements which present Operating Income, Net Income from Continuing Operations and Earnings from Continuing Operations Per Diluted Share in 2022 and 2021 on an adjusted basis, which remove certain special items. We believe that these special items are not indicative of our ongoing operations due to their size and nature. We use adjusted financial information as key performance measures of results of operations for the purpose of evaluating performance internally. These non-GAAP measurements are not intended to replace the presentation of our financial results in accordance with GAAP. Instead, we believe that the presentation of adjusted financial information provides additional information to
investors to facilitate the comparison of past and present operations. Further, our definitions of adjusted financial information may differ from similarly titled measures used by other companies.
The table below reconciles the GAAP financial measures to the non-GAAP financial measures:
|(in millions, except per share amounts)||2022||2021|
|Reconciliation of Reported Operating Income to Adjusted Operating Income|
|Reported Operating Income||$||1,376 ||$||2,009 |
|Write-off of Inventory due to Tornado (a)||— ||9 |
|Adjusted Operating Income||$||1,376 ||$||2,019 |
|Reconciliation of Reported Net Income from Continuing Operations to Adjusted Net Income from Continuing Operations|
|Reported Net Income from Continuing Operations||$||794 ||$||1,075 |
|Write-off of Inventory due to Tornado (a)||— ||9 |
|Loss on Extinguishment of Debt (b)||— ||195 |
|Tax Benefit of Special Items in Operating Income and Other Income (Loss)||— ||(49)|
|Adjusted Net Income from Continuing Operations||$||794 ||$||1,230 |
|Reconciliation of Reported Earnings from Continuing Operations Per Diluted Share to Adjusted Earnings from Continuing Operations Per Diluted Share|
|Reported Earnings from Continuing Operations Per Diluted Share||$||3.40 ||$||3.94 |
|Write-off of Inventory due to Tornado (a)||— ||0.03 |
|Loss on Extinguishment of Debt (b)||— ||0.54 |
|Adjusted Earnings from Continuing Operations Per Diluted Share||$||3.40 ||$||4.51 |
(a)In the fourth quarter of 2021, we recognized a pre-tax loss of $9 million ($7 million after tax) related to the write-off of inventory that was destroyed by a tornado at a vendor's facility.
(b)In the third and first quarters of 2021, we recognized pre-tax losses of $89 million and $105 million (after-tax losses of $68 million and $80 million), respectively, due to the early extinguishments of outstanding notes. For additional information, see Note 11, "Long-term Debt and Borrowing Facilities" included in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.
Company-Operated Store Data
The following table compares U.S. Company-operated store data for 2022 and 2021:
|Sales per Average Selling Square Foot (a)||$||1,120 ||$||1,220 ||(8 ||%)|
|Sales per Average Store (in thousands) (a)||$||3,079 ||$||3,279 ||(6 ||%)|
|Average Store Size (selling square feet)||2,783 ||2,716 ||2 ||%|
|Total Selling Square Feet (in thousands)||4,712 ||4,485 ||5 ||%|
(a)Sales per average selling square foot and sales per average store, which are indicators of store productivity, are calculated based on store sales for the period divided by the average, including the beginning and end of period, of total square footage and store count, respectively.
The following table represents Company-operated store data for 2022:
|January 29, 2022||Opened||Closed||January 28, 2023|
|United States||1,651 ||90 ||(48)||1,693 |
|Canada||104 ||5 ||— ||109 |
|Total||1,755 ||95 ||(48)||1,802 |
The following table represents Company-operated store data for 2021:
|January 30, 2021||Opened||Closed||January 29, 2022|
|United States||1,633 ||53 ||(35)||1,651 |
|Canada||103 ||1 ||— ||104 |
|Total||1,736 ||54 ||(35)||1,755 |
Partner-Operated Store Data
The following table represents partner-operated store data for 2022:
|January 29, 2022||Opened||Closed||January 28, 2023|
|International||317 ||89 ||(5)||401 |
|International - Travel Retail||21 ||6 ||(1)||26 |
|Total International||338 ||95 ||(6)||427 |
The following table represents partner-operated store data for 2021:
|January 30, 2021||Opened||Closed||January 29, 2022|
|International||270 ||55 ||(8)||317 |
|International - Travel Retail||18 ||3 ||— ||21 |
|Total International||288 ||58 ||(8)||338 |
Results of Operations—2022 Compared to 2021
For 2022, Operating Income decreased $633 million to $1.376 billion, and the Operating Income rate (expressed as a percentage of Net Sales) decreased to 18.2% from 25.5% in 2021. The drivers of the Operating Income results are discussed in the following sections.
The following table provides Net Sales for 2022 in comparison to 2021:
| ||(in millions)|| |
|Stores - U.S. and Canada||$||5,476 ||$||5,709 ||(4.1 ||%)|
|Direct - U.S. and Canada||1,745 ||1,890 ||(7.6 ||%)|
|International (a)||339 ||283 ||19.6 ||%|
|Total Net Sales||$||7,560 ||$||7,882 ||(4.1 ||%)|
(a)Results include royalties associated with franchised store and wholesale sales.
The following table provides a reconciliation of Net Sales for 2021 to 2022:
| ||(in millions)|
2021 Net Sales
|Comparable Store Sales||(338)|
|Sales Associated with New, Closed and Non-comparable Remodeled Stores, Net||119 |
|International Wholesale, Royalty and Other||56 |
|Foreign Currency Translation||(14)|
2022 Net Sales
For 2022, Net Sales decreased $322 million to $7.560 billion. Net Sales decreased in the stores channel $233 million, or 4%, primarily due to a decrease in average dollar sales, partially offset by the incremental Net Sales originating from new stores. Direct Net Sales decreased $145 million, or 8%, primarily due to a decline in orders. The decline in Direct orders is partially due to last year's strong results as well as our customers continuing to select our buy online-pick up in store option ("BOPIS") (which is recognized as store Net Sales), partially offset by increased Net Sales in the Canada Direct business that launched in the third quarter of 2021. International Net Sales increased by $56 million, or 20%, primarily due to the increases in partner-operated stores and e-commerce sites.
In terms of category performance, home fragrance and sanitizers Net Sales were down compared to 2021 as customer mindset and needs shifted coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. While total body care Net Sales were also down, we had growth in our Men's collection. These declines were partially offset by improvement in our gifting business.
For 2022, our Gross Profit decreased $600 million to $3.255 billion, and our Gross Profit rate (expressed as a percentage of Net Sales) decreased to 43.1% from 48.9%. Gross Profit decreased primarily due to a significant decline in the merchandise margin rate driven by increased product cost from continued inflationary cost pressure in raw materials, transportation and labor and incremental promotions to drive sales. We estimate inflationary cost pressures totaled approximately $225 million in 2022. The decline in Net Sales and a $52 million increase in Buying and Occupancy Expenses, primarily driven by higher distribution costs and investments in store real estate, also contributed to the decrease in Gross Profit. The Gross Profit rate decreased due to the significant decline in the merchandise margin rate, the increase in Buying and Occupancy Expenses and deleverage on lower Net Sales.
General, Administrative and Store Operating Expenses
The following table provides detail for our General, Administrative and Store Operating Expenses for 2022 compared to 2021:
|(in millions)||% of Net Sales||(in millions)||% of Net Sales||(in millions)||% of Net Sales|
|Selling Expenses||$||1,205 ||15.9 ||%||$||1,215 ||15.4 ||%||$||(10)||0.5 ||%|
|Home Office and Marketing Expenses||674 ||8.9 ||%||631 ||8.0 ||%||43 ||0.9 ||%|
|Total||$||1,879 ||24.9 ||%||$||1,846 ||23.4 ||%||$||33 ||1.5 ||%|
For 2022, our General, Administrative and Store Operating Expenses increased $33 million to $1.879 billion, and the rate (expressed as a percentage of Net Sales) increased to 24.9% from 23.4%. Our home office expenses increased primarily due to our investments in technology in connection with our IT separation. The increase in technology costs was partially offset by savings from our third quarter of 2022 profit improvement initiatives of approximately $35 million, charitable contributions made in the first quarter of 2021, certain legal fees and other discrete items totaling approximately $20 million that were incurred in the second quarter of 2021 and an approximately $20 million decrease in incentive compensation payouts due to business performance during the 2022 Spring season. Our selling expenses decreased primarily due to the decreases in Net Sales and related store bonus expense, partially offset by increases in customer-facing associate wages. The General, Administrative and Store Operating Expense rate increased primarily due to the increases in technology costs and associate wages, as well as deleverage on lower Net Sales.
Other Income (Loss) and Expenses
The following table provides the average daily borrowings and average borrowing rates for 2022 and 2021:
|Average daily borrowings (in millions)||$||4,915 ||$||5,409 |
|Average borrowing rate||7.1 ||%||7.2 ||%|
For 2022, our Interest Expense decreased $40 million to $348 million due to lower average daily borrowings and a lower average borrowing rate.
Other Income (Loss)
For 2021, our Other Loss was $198 million, consisting primarily of $195 million of pre-tax losses associated with the early extinguishments of outstanding notes.
Provision for Income Taxes
For 2022, our effective tax rate was 24.0% compared to 24.5% in 2021. The 2022 rate was lower than our combined estimated federal and state statutory rate primarily due to the recognition of excess tax benefits recorded through the Consolidated
Statements of Income on share-based awards that vested. The 2021 rate was in line with our combined estimated federal and state statutory rate.
Results of Operations—Fourth Quarter of 2022 Compared to Fourth Quarter of 2021
For the fourth quarter of 2022, Operating Income decreased $226 million to $653 million, and the Operating Income rate (expressed as a percentage of Net Sales) decreased to 22.6% from 29.0% in 2021. The drivers of the Operating Income results are discussed in the following sections.
The following table provides Net Sales for the fourth quarter of 2022 in comparison to the fourth quarter of 2021:
|(in millions)|| |
|Stores - U.S. and Canada||$||2,078 ||$||2,191 ||(5.1 ||%)|
|Direct - U.S. and Canada||716 ||764 ||(6.3 ||%)|
|International (a)||95 ||72 ||29.9 ||%|
|Total Net Sales||$||2,889 ||$||3,027 ||(4.6 ||%)|
(a)Results include royalties associated with franchised store and wholesale sales.
The following table provides a reconciliation of Net Sales for the fourth quarter of 2021 to the fourth quarter of 2022:
2021 Net Sales
|Comparable Store Sales||(130)|
|Sales Associated with New, Closed and Non-comparable Remodeled Stores, Net||25 |
|International, Wholesale, Royalty and Other||23 |
|Foreign Currency Translation||(8)|
2022 Net Sales
For the fourth quarter of 2022, Net Sales decreased $138 million to $2.889 billion. Net Sales decreased in the stores channel by $113 million, or 5%, primarily due to a decrease in average dollar sales, partially offset by the incremental Net Sales originating from new stores. Direct Net Sales decreased $48 million, or 6%, due to a decline in orders partially offset by an increase in average order size. The decline in Direct orders is partially due to our customers continuing to select our BOPIS option (which is recognized as store Net Sales). International Net Sales increased by $23 million, or 30%, primarily due to the increase in partner-operated stores as well as timing of wholesale shipments.
In terms of category performance, home fragrance and sanitizers Net Sales were down compared to 2021 as customer mindset and needs shifted coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. While total body care Net Sales were down slightly, we had growth in our Men's collection. These declines were partially offset by improvement in our gifting business.
For the fourth quarter of 2022, our Gross Profit decreased $196 million to $1.250 billion, and our Gross Profit rate (expressed as a percentage of Net Sales) decreased to 43.3% from 47.8%. Gross Profit decreased primarily due to a significant decline in the merchandise margin rate driven by increased product cost from continued inflationary cost pressure in raw materials, transportation and labor and incremental promotions to drive sales. We estimate inflationary cost pressures totaled approximately $60 million in the fourth quarter of 2022. The decline in Net Sales and a $12 million increase in Buying and Occupancy Expenses also contributed to the decrease in Gross Profit. The Gross Profit rate decreased primarily due to the significant decline in the merchandise margin rate and Buying and Occupancy deleverage on lower Net Sales.
General, Administrative and Store Operating Expenses
The following table provides detail for our General, Administrative and Store Operating Expenses for the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the fourth quarter of 2021:
|(in millions)||% of Net Sales||(in millions)||% of Net Sales||(in millions)||% of Net Sales|
|Selling Expenses||$||391 ||13.5 ||%||$||391 ||12.9 ||%||$||— ||0.6 ||%|
|Home Office and Marketing Expenses||206 ||7.1 ||%||176 ||5.8 ||%||30 ||1.3 ||%|
|Total||$||597 ||20.7 ||%||$||567 ||18.7 ||%||$||30 ||1.9 ||%|
For the fourth quarter of 2022, our General, Administrative and Store Operating Expenses increased $30 million to $597 million and the rate (expressed as a percentage of Net Sales) increased to 20.7% from 18.7%. Our home office expenses increased due to our investments in technology in connection with our IT separation. The increase in technology costs was partially offset by savings from our third quarter of 2022 profit improvement initiatives of approximately $20 million. Our selling expenses remained flat due to increases in customer-facing associate wages, offset by decreases due to the decline in Net Sales. The General, Administrative and Store Operating Expense rate increased primarily due to the increase in technology costs, as well as deleverage on lower Net Sales.
Other Income (Loss) and Expenses
The following table provides the average daily borrowings and average borrowing rates for the fourth quarter of 2022 and 2021:
|Average daily borrowings (in millions)||$||4,915 ||$||4,915 |
|Average borrowing rate||7.1 ||%||7.1 ||%|
For the fourth quarter of 2022, our Interest Expense was $87 million and flat to 2021.
Other Income (Loss)
For fourth quarter of 2022, our Other Income (Loss) increased $11 million to income of $10 million, primarily due to an increase in the average interest rate earned on invested cash.
Provision for Income Taxes
For the fourth quarter of 2022, our effective tax rate was 25.7% compared to 25.1% in 2021. The 2022 and 2021 rates are in line with our combined estimated federal and state statutory rate.
A discussion regarding our Financial Condition for 2021 compared to 2020 can be found under Item 7. of Part II of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 29, 2022, filed with the SEC on March 18, 2022.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Liquidity, or access to cash, is an important factor in determining our financial stability. We are committed to maintaining adequate liquidity. Cash generated from our operating activities provides the primary resources to support current operations, growth initiatives, seasonal funding requirements and capital expenditures. Our cash provided from operations is impacted by our net income and working capital changes. Our net income is impacted by, among other things, sales volume, seasonal sales patterns, success of new product introductions, profit margins, income taxes and inflationary pressures. Historically, our sales are higher during the fourth quarter of the fiscal year due to seasonal and holiday-related sales patterns. Generally, our need for working capital peaks during the summer and fall months as inventory builds in anticipation of the holiday period. Our cash and cash equivalents held by foreign subsidiaries were $126 million as of January 28, 2023.
We believe that our current cash position, our cash flow generated from operations and our borrowing capacity under the ABL Facility will be sufficient to meet our liquidity needs, including capital expenditure requirements, for at least the next twelve months.
Working Capital and Capitalization
The following table provides a summary of our working capital position and capitalization as of January 28, 2023 and January 29, 2022:
| ||(in millions)|
|Working Capital||$||887 ||$||1,719 |
|Long-term Debt||4,862 ||4,854 |
|Shareholders’ Equity (Deficit)||(2,206)||(1,518)|
|Total Capitalization||$||2,656 ||$||3,336 |
|Amounts Available Under the ABL Facility (a)||$||509 ||$||479 |
(a)As of January 28, 2023, our borrowing base was $525 million and we had outstanding letters of credit, which reduce our availability under the ABL Facility, of $16 million. As of January 29, 2022, our borrowing base was $495 million and we had outstanding letters of credit of $16 million.
Debt Leverage Ratio
Our debt leverage ratio is defined as adjusted debt, which includes our long-term debt and total operating lease liabilities, divided by adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, amortization and rent ("EBITDAR"). Adjusted EBITDAR is calculated as adjusted operating income (a non-GAAP measure that is reconciled under the heading "Adjusted Financial Information from Continuing Operations" in this Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations), which excludes interest and taxes, before depreciation, amortization and lease costs. Our debt leverage ratio is a non-GAAP financial measure which we believe is useful to analyze our capital structure. Our debt leverage ratio calculation may not be comparable to similarly-titled measures reported by other companies. Our debt leverage ratio should be evaluated in addition to, and not considered a substitute for, other GAAP financial measures.
The following table provides our debt leverage ratio as of, and for the years ended, January 28, 2023 and January 29, 2022:
| ||(dollars in millions)|
|Long-term Debt||$||4,862 ||$||4,854 |
|Total Operating Lease Liabilities||1,191 ||1,159 |
|Adjusted Debt||$||6,053 ||$||6,013 |
|Adjusted Operating Income||$||1,376 ||$||2,019 |
|Depreciation and Amortization||221 ||205 |
|Total Lease Costs||382 ||358 |
|Adjusted EBITDAR||$||1,979 ||$||2,582 |
|Debt Leverage Ratio||3.1||2.3|
The cash flows related to discontinued operations have not been segregated. Accordingly, the 2021 Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows includes the results from continuing and discontinued operations. We did not report any cash flows from discontinued operations in 2022.
The following table provides a summary of our Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for 2022 and 2021:
| ||(in millions)|
|Cash and Cash Equivalents, Beginning of Year||$||1,979 ||$||3,933 |
|Net Cash Flows Provided by Operating Activities||1,144 ||1,492 |
|Net Cash Flows Used for Investing Activities||(328)||(259)|
|Net Cash Flows Used for Financing Activities||(1,562)||(3,188)|
|Effects of Exchange Rate Changes on Cash and Cash Equivalents||(1)||1 |
|Net Decrease in Cash and Cash Equivalents||(747)||(1,954)|
|Cash and Cash Equivalents, End of Year||$||1,232 ||$||1,979 |
Net cash provided by operating activities in 2022 was $1.144 billion, including net income of $800 million (which included Income from Discontinued Operations, Net of Tax of $6 million). Net income included depreciation of $221 million, share-based compensation expense of $38 million and deferred income tax expense of $17 million. Other changes in assets and liabilities represent items that had a current period cash flow impact, such as changes in working capital. The most significant items in working capital were the $44 million increase associated with Accounts Payable, Accrued Expenses and Other and the $39 million increase associated with Income Taxes Payable.
Net cash provided by operating activities in 2021 was $1.492 billion, including net income of $1.333 billion (which included Income from Discontinued Operations, Net of Tax of $258 million). Net income included depreciation of $363 million (which included $158 million related to the Victoria's Secret business classified as discontinued operations), loss on extinguishment of debt of $195 million, share-based compensation expense of $46 million (which included $15 million related to the Victoria's Secret business classified as discontinued operations), and deferred income tax expense of $45 million. Other changes in assets and liabilities represent items that had a current period cash flow impact, such as changes in working capital. The most significant item in working capital was a decrease in operating cash flow of $177 million associated with the increase in Inventories.
Net cash used for investing activities in 2022 was $328 million related to capital expenditures. The capital expenditures included approximately $164 million related to new, off-mall stores and remodels of existing stores. The remaining capital expenditures were primarily related to our new Company-operated direct channel fulfillment center and various IT projects primarily supporting the separation of our IT systems from Victoria's Secret & Co.'s IT systems.
Net cash used for investing activities in 2021 was $259 million consisting primarily of $270 million of capital expenditures, partially offset by proceeds from other investing activities of $11 million. Capital expenditures related to our continuing operations were $205 million, approximately 60% of which related to real estate investments with the remaining investment principally in technology and fulfillment center capabilities. Capital expenditures related to discontinued operations were $66 million.
We are planning for approximately $300 million to $350 million of capital expenditures in 2023, approximately half of which we expect will relate to real estate projects to open new off-mall stores and remodel existing stores into the White Barn store design. Additionally, we also plan on investing in our technology, primarily to support the separation of our IT systems from Victoria's Secret & Co.'s IT systems, and distribution and logistics capabilities to support long-term growth.
Net cash used for financing activities in 2022 was $1.562 billion consisting of $1.312 billion in payments for share repurchases, including the payment of $1 billion related to our accelerated share repurchase program ("ASR"), dividend payments of $0.80 per share, or $186 million, tax payments of $32 million related to share-based awards and net payments of $25 million to Victoria's Secret & Co. related to the Separation.
Net cash used for financing activities in 2021 was $3.188 billion consisting of $1.964 billion in repurchases of our common stock, $1.716 billion in payments for the early extinguishment of outstanding notes, transfers and payments of $376 million to Victoria's Secret & Co. related to the Separation, dividend payments of $0.45 per share, or $120 million, and tax payments of $59 million related to share-based awards. These uses were partially offset by proceeds of $976 million from the Separation and proceeds of $83 million from stock option exercises.
Common Stock Share Repurchases
Our Board will determine share repurchase authorizations, giving consideration to our levels of profit and cash flow, capital requirements, current and forecasted liquidity, the restrictions placed upon us by our borrowing arrangements as well as financial and other conditions existing at the time. We use cash flow generated from operating and financing activities to fund our share repurchase programs. The timing and amount of any repurchases will be made at our discretion, taking into account a number of factors, including market conditions.
2021 Repurchase Programs
In March 2021, the Board authorized a $500 million share repurchase plan (the "March 2021 Program"), which replaced the $79 million remaining under a March 2018 share repurchase program.
In July 2021, the Board authorized a $1.5 billion share repurchase program (the "July 2021 Program"), which replaced the $36 million remaining under the March 2021 Program. Under the authorization of this program, in July 2021 we entered into a stock repurchase agreement with our former Chief Executive Officer and certain of his affiliated entities pursuant to which we repurchased 10 million shares of our common stock for an aggregate purchase price of $730 million.
We repurchased the following shares of our common stock during 2021:
|Average Stock Price|
|(in millions)||(in thousands)||(in millions)|
|March 2021 (a)||$||500 ||6,996 ||$||464 ||$||66.30 |
|July 2021 (a)||1,500 ||10,000 ||730 ||73.01 |
|July 2021 (b)||11,234 ||770 ||68.53 |
|Total||28,230 ||$||1,964 |
(a)Reflects repurchases of L Brands, Inc. common stock prior to the August 2, 2021 spin-off of Victoria's Secret & Co.
(b)Reflects repurchases of Bath & Body Works, Inc. common stock subsequent to the August 2, 2021 spin-off of Victoria's Secret & Co.
2022 Repurchase Program
In February 2022, the Board authorized a new $1.5 billion share repurchase program (the "February 2022 Program"). As part of the February 2022 Program, we entered into the ASR under which we repurchased $1 billion of our own outstanding common stock. The delivery of shares under the ASR resulted in an immediate reduction of the shares used to calculate the weighted-average common shares outstanding for net income per basic and diluted share. Pursuant to the Board's authorization, we made other share repurchases in the open market under the February 2022 Program during 2022.
On February 4, 2022, we delivered $1 billion to the ASR bank, and the bank delivered 14 million shares of common stock to us (the "Initial Shares"). Pursuant to the terms of the ASR, the Initial Shares represented 80% of the number of shares determined by dividing the $1 billion Company payment by the closing price of our common stock on February 2, 2022.
In May 2022, we received an additional 7 million shares of our common stock from the ASR bank for the final settlement of the ASR. The final number of shares of common stock delivered under the ASR was based generally upon a discount to the average daily Rule 10b-18 volume-weighted average price at which the shares of common stock traded during the regular trading sessions on the NYSE during the term of the repurchase period.
We repurchased the following shares of our common stock during 2022:
|Average Stock Price|
|(in millions)||(in thousands)||(in millions)|
|February 2022||$||1,500 ||6,401 ||$||312 ||$||48.77 |
|February 2022 - Accelerated Share Repurchase Program||20,295 ||1,000 ||49.27 |
|Total||26,696 ||$||1,312 |
The February 2022 Program had $188 million of remaining authority as of January 28, 2023.
Dividend Policy and Procedures
Our Board will determine future dividends after giving consideration to our levels of profit and cash flow, capital requirements, current and forecasted liquidity, the restrictions placed upon us by our borrowing arrangements as well as financial and other conditions existing at the time. We use cash flow generated from operating and financing activities to fund our dividends.
In connection with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Board suspended our quarterly cash dividend beginning in the second quarter of 2020. In March 2021, our Board reinstated the annual dividend at $0.60 per share, beginning with the quarterly dividend paid in June 2021. In February 2022, our Board increased the annual dividend to $0.80 per share, beginning with the quarterly dividend paid in March 2022.
We paid the following dividends during 2022 and 2021:
|Ordinary Dividends||Total Paid|
|(per share)||(in millions)|
|First Quarter||$||0.20 ||$||48 |
|Second Quarter||0.20 ||46 |
|Third Quarter||0.20 ||46 |
|Fourth Quarter||0.20 ||46 |
|$||0.80 ||$||186 |
|First Quarter||$||— ||$||— |
|Second Quarter||0.15 ||42 |
|Third Quarter||0.15 ||39 |
|Fourth Quarter||0.15 ||39 |
|$||0.45 ||$||120 |
On March 3, 2023, we paid our first quarter 2023 dividend of $0.20 per share to stockholders of record at the close of business on February 17, 2023.
Long-term Debt and Borrowing Facilities
The following table provides our outstanding Long-term Debt balance, net of unamortized debt issuance costs and discounts, as of January 28, 2023 and January 29, 2022:
|Senior Debt with Subsidiary Guarantee|
$320 million, 9.375% Fixed Interest Rate Notes due July 2025 ("2025 Notes")
|$||317 ||$||316 |
$297 million, 6.694% Fixed Interest Rate Notes due January 2027 ("2027 Notes")
|283 ||281 |
$500 million, 5.25% Fixed Interest Rate Notes due February 2028 (“2028 Notes”)
|498 ||497 |
$500 million, 7.50% Fixed Interest Rate Notes due June 2029 ("2029 Notes")
|491 ||489 |
$1 billion, 6.625% Fixed Interest Rate Notes due October 2030 ("2030 Notes")
|991 ||990 |
$1 billion, 6.875% Fixed Interest Rate Notes due November 2035 (“2035 Notes”)
|993 ||992 |
$700 million, 6.75% Fixed Interest Rate Notes due July 2036 (“2036 Notes”)
|694 ||694 |
|Total Senior Debt with Subsidiary Guarantee||$||4,267 ||$||4,259 |
$350 million, 6.95% Fixed Interest Rate Debentures due March 2033 (“2033 Notes”)
|$||349 ||$||349 |
$247 million, 7.60% Fixed Interest Rate Notes due July 2037 (“2037 Notes”)
|246 ||246 |
|Total Senior Debt||$||595 ||$||595 |
|Total Long-term Debt||$||4,862 ||$||4,854 |
Repurchases of Notes
In April 2021, we redeemed the remaining $285 million of our outstanding 5.625% senior notes due February 2022 and $750 million of our outstanding 6.875% senior secured notes due July 2025. We recognized a pre-tax loss related to this extinguishment of debt of $105 million (after-tax loss of $80 million), which included the write-off of unamortized issuance costs. This loss is included in Other Income (Loss) in the 2021 Consolidated Statement of Income.
In September 2021, we completed the tender offers to purchase $270 million of our outstanding 5.625% senior notes due October 2023 (the "2023 Notes") and $180 million of our outstanding 2025 Notes for an aggregate purchase price of $532 million. Additionally, in October 2021, we redeemed the remaining $50 million of our outstanding 2023 Notes for an aggregate purchase price of $54 million. We recognized a pre-tax loss related to this extinguishment of debt of $89 million (after-tax loss of $68 million), which included the write-off of unamortized issuance costs. This loss is included in Other Income (Loss) in the 2021 Consolidated Statement of Income.
Asset-backed Revolving Credit Facility
We and certain of our 100% owned subsidiaries guarantee and pledge collateral to secure our ABL Facility. The ABL Facility, which allows borrowings and letters of credit in U.S. dollars or Canadian dollars, has aggregate commitments of $750 million and an expiration date in August 2026.
Availability under the ABL Facility is the lesser of (i) the borrowing base, determined primarily based on our eligible U.S. and Canadian credit card receivables, accounts receivable, inventory and eligible real property, or (ii) the aggregate commitment. If at any time the outstanding amount under the ABL Facility exceeds the lesser of (i) the borrowing base and (ii) the aggregate commitment, we are required to repay the outstanding amounts under the ABL Facility to the extent of such excess. As of January 28, 2023, our borrowing base was $525 million, and we had no borrowings outstanding under the ABL Facility.
The ABL Facility supports our letter of credit program. We had $16 million of outstanding letters of credit as of January 28, 2023 that reduced our availability under the ABL Facility. As of January 28, 2023, our availability under the ABL Facility was $509 million.
As of January 28, 2023, the ABL Facility fees related to committed and unutilized amounts were 0.30% per annum, and the fees related to outstanding letters of credit were 1.25% per annum. In addition, the interest rate on outstanding U.S. dollar borrowings was LIBOR plus 1.25% per annum. The interest rate on outstanding Canadian dollar-denominated borrowings was the Canadian Dollar Offered Rate plus 1.25% per annum.
The ABL Facility requires us to maintain a fixed charge coverage ratio of not less than 1.00 to 1.00 during an event of default or any period commencing on any day when specified excess availability is less than the greater of (i) $70 million or (ii) 10% of the maximum borrowing amount. As of January 28, 2023, we were not required to maintain this ratio.
The following table provides our credit ratings as of January 28, 2023:
|Senior Unsecured Debt with Subsidiary Guarantee||Ba2||BB|
|Senior Unsecured Debt||B1||B+|
Guarantor Summarized Financial Information
Certain of our subsidiaries, which are listed on Exhibit 22 to this Annual Report on Form 10-K, have guaranteed our obligations under the 2025 Notes, 2027 Notes, 2028 Notes, 2029 Notes, 2030 Notes, 2035 Notes and 2036 Notes (collectively, the "Notes").
The Notes have been issued by Bath & Body Works, Inc. (the “Parent Company”). The Notes are its senior unsecured obligations and rank equally in right of payment with all of our existing and future senior unsecured obligations, are senior to any of our future subordinated indebtedness, are effectively subordinated to all of our existing and future indebtedness that is secured by a lien and are structurally subordinated to all existing and future obligations of each of our subsidiaries that do not guarantee the Notes.
The Notes are fully and unconditionally guaranteed on a joint and several basis by certain of our wholly-owned subsidiaries, including certain subsidiaries that also guarantee our obligations under our ABL Facility (such guarantees, the “Guarantees”; and, such guaranteeing subsidiaries, the “Subsidiary Guarantors”). The Guarantees of the Subsidiary Guarantors are subject to release in limited circumstances only upon the occurrence of certain customary conditions. Each Guarantee is limited, by its
terms, to an amount not to exceed the maximum amount that can be guaranteed by the applicable Subsidiary Guarantor subject to avoidance under applicable fraudulent conveyance provisions of U.S. and non-U.S. law.
The following tables set forth summarized financial information for the Parent Company and the Subsidiary Guarantors, on a combined basis after elimination of (i) intercompany transactions and balances among the Parent Company and the Subsidiary Guarantors and (ii) investments in and equity in the earnings of non-Guarantor subsidiaries.
|JANUARY 28, 2023 SUMMARIZED BALANCE SHEET||(in millions)|
|Current Assets (a)||$||2,642 |
|Noncurrent Assets (b)||2,561 |
|Current Liabilities (c)||$||3,084 |
|Noncurrent Liabilities||6,143 |
(a)Includes amounts due from non-Guarantor subsidiaries of $589 million as of January 28, 2023.
(b)Includes amounts due from non-Guarantor subsidiaries of $40 million as of January 28, 2023.
(c)Includes amounts due to non-Guarantor subsidiaries of $1.987 billion as of January 28, 2023.
2022 SUMMARIZED STATEMENT OF INCOME
|Net Sales (a)||$||7,336 |
|Gross Profit||3,012 |
|Operating Income||1,245 |
|Income Before Income Taxes||921 |
|Net Income (b)||726 |
(a)Includes Net Sales of $291 million to non-Guarantor subsidiaries.
(b)Includes Net Loss of $7 million related to transactions with non-Guarantor subsidiaries.
Contingent Liabilities and Contractual Obligations
The following table provides our contractual obligations, aggregated by type, including the maturity profile as of January 28, 2023:
| ||Payments Due by Period|
| ||(in millions)|
|Long-term Debt (a)||$||8,047 ||$||339 ||$||983 ||$||895 ||$||5,830 ||$||— |
|Future Lease Obligations (b)||1,562 ||260 ||497 ||386 ||419 ||— |
|Purchase Obligations (c)||682 ||543 ||91 ||38 ||10 ||— |
|Other Liabilities (d)||182 ||112 ||30 ||— ||— ||40 |
|Total||$||10,473 ||$||1,254 ||$||1,601 ||$||1,319 ||$||6,259 ||$||40 |
(a)Long-term Debt obligations relate to our principal and interest payments for outstanding notes and debentures. Interest payments have been estimated based on the coupon rate for fixed rate obligations. Interest obligations exclude amounts which have been accrued through January 28, 2023. For additional information, see Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.
(b)Future lease obligations primarily represent minimum payments due under store lease agreements. For additional information, see Note 7 to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.
(c)Purchase obligations primarily include purchase orders for merchandise inventory and other agreements to purchase goods or services that are enforceable and legally binding and that specify all significant terms, including: fixed or minimum quantities to be purchased; fixed, minimum or variable price provisions; and the approximate timing of the transactions.
(d)Other liabilities include future estimated payments associated with unrecognized tax benefits. The “Less Than 1 Year” category includes $112 million of these tax items because it is reasonably possible that the amounts could change in the next 12 months due to audit settlements or resolution of uncertainties. The remaining portion totaling $40 million is included in the “Other” category as it is not reasonably possible that the amounts could change in the next 12 months. In addition, we have a remaining liability of $30 million related to the deemed repatriation tax on our undistributed foreign earnings resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The tax liability will be paid over the next three years. For additional information, see Note 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.
In connection with the spin-off of Victoria's Secret & Co. and the disposal of a certain other business, we had remaining contingent obligations of $283 million as of January 28, 2023 related to lease payments under the current terms of noncancelable leases, primarily related to office space, expiring at various dates through 2037. These obligations include minimum rent and additional payments covering taxes, common area costs and certain other expenses and relate to leases that commenced prior to the disposition of these businesses. Our reserves related to these obligations were not significant for any period presented.
Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements
We did not adopt any new accounting standards in 2022 that had a material impact on our consolidated results of operations, financial position or cash flows. In addition, as of March 17, 2023, there are no new accounting standards that we have not yet adopted that are expected to have a material impact on our consolidated results of operations, financial position or cash flows.
Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
The preparation of financial statements in conformity with generally accepted accounting principles requires management to adopt accounting policies related to estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements and the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the reporting period, as well as the related disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities at the date of the financial statements. On an ongoing basis, management evaluates its accounting policies, estimates and judgments, including those related to inventories, valuation of long-lived store assets, claims and contingencies, income taxes and revenue recognition. Management bases our estimates and judgments on historical experience and various other factors that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. Actual results may differ from these estimates. Management has discussed the development and selection of our critical accounting policies and estimates with the Audit Committee of our Board of Directors and believes the following assumptions and estimates are most significant to reporting our results of operations and financial position.
Inventories are principally valued at the lower of cost or net realizable value, on an average cost basis.
We record valuation adjustments to our inventories if the cost of inventory on hand exceeds the amount we expect to realize from the ultimate sale or disposal of the inventory. These estimates are based on management’s judgment regarding future demand and market conditions and analysis of historical experience. If actual demand or market conditions are different than those projected by management, future period merchandise margin rates may be unfavorably or favorably affected by adjustments to these estimates.
We also record inventory loss adjustments for estimated physical inventory losses that have occurred since the date of the last physical inventory. These estimates are based on management’s analysis of historical results and operating trends.
Management believes that the assumptions used in these estimates are reasonable and appropriate. A 10% increase or decrease in the inventory valuation adjustment would have impacted net income from continuing operations by approximately $2 million for 2022. A 10% increase or decrease in the estimated physical inventory loss adjustment would have impacted net income from continuing operations by approximately $2 million for 2022.
Valuation of Long-lived Store Assets
Long-lived store assets, which include leasehold improvements, store related assets and operating lease assets, are reviewed for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of the assets may not be recoverable. Store assets are grouped at the lowest level for which they are largely independent of other assets or asset groups. If the estimated undiscounted future cash flows related to the asset group are less than the carrying value, we recognize a loss
equal to the difference between the carrying value and the estimated fair value, determined by the estimated discounted future cash flows of the asset group. For operating lease assets, we determine the fair value of the assets by comparing the contractual rent payments to estimated market rental rates. An individual asset within an asset group is not impaired below its estimated fair value. The fair value of long-lived store assets are determined using Level 3 inputs within the fair value hierarchy.
When a decision has been made to dispose of property and equipment prior to the end of the previously estimated useful life, depreciation estimates are revised to reflect the use of the asset over the shortened estimated useful life.
Claims and Contingencies
We are subject to various claims and contingencies related to lawsuits, taxes, insurance, regulatory and other matters arising out of the normal course of business. Our determination of the treatment of claims and contingencies in the Consolidated Financial Statements is based on management’s view of the expected outcome of the applicable claim or contingency. We consult with legal counsel on matters related to litigation and seek input from both internal and external experts with respect to matters in the ordinary course of business. We accrue a liability if the likelihood of an adverse outcome is probable and the amount is reasonably estimable. If the likelihood of an adverse outcome is only reasonably possible (as opposed to probable) or if an estimate is not reasonably determinable, disclosure of a material claim or contingency is disclosed in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.
We account for income taxes under the asset and liability method. Under this method, taxes currently payable or refundable are accrued, and deferred tax assets and liabilities are recognized for the estimated future tax consequences attributable to differences between the financial statement carrying amounts of existing assets and liabilities and their respective tax bases. Deferred tax assets are also recognized for realizable operating loss and tax credit carryforwards. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using enacted income tax rates in effect for the year in which those temporary differences are expected to be recovered or settled. The effect on deferred tax assets and liabilities of a change in income tax rates is recognized in our Consolidated Statements of Income in the period that includes the enactment date. A valuation allowance is recorded to reduce the carrying amounts of deferred tax assets if it is more likely than not that such assets will not be realized.
Significant judgment is required in determining the provision for income taxes and related accruals, deferred tax assets and liabilities. In determining our provision for income taxes, we consider permanent differences between book and tax income and statutory income tax rates. Our effective income tax rate is affected by items including changes in tax law, the tax jurisdiction of new stores or business ventures and the level of earnings.
We follow the authoritative guidance included in ASC 740, Income Taxes, which contains a two-step approach to recognize and measure uncertain tax positions. The first step is to evaluate the tax position for recognition by determining if the available evidence indicates it is more likely than not that the position will be sustained on audit, including resolution of related appeals or litigation processes, if any. The second step is to measure the tax benefit as the largest amount which is more than 50% likely of being realized upon ultimate settlement. We consider many factors when evaluating and estimating our tax positions and tax benefits, which may require periodic adjustments and for which actual outcomes may differ from forecasted outcomes. Our policy is to include interest and penalties related to uncertain tax positions in income tax expense.
Our income tax returns, like those of most companies, are periodically audited by domestic and foreign tax authorities. These audits include questions regarding our tax filing positions, including the timing and amount of deductions and the allocation of income among various tax jurisdictions. At any one time, multiple tax years are subject to audit by the various tax authorities. A number of years may elapse before a particular matter for which we have established an accrual is audited and fully resolved or clarified. We adjust our tax contingencies accrual and income tax provision in the period in which matters are effectively settled with tax authorities at amounts different from our established accrual, when the statute of limitations expires for the relevant taxing authority to examine the tax position or when more information becomes available.
We recognize revenue based on the amount we expect to receive when control of the goods or services is transferred to our customer. We recognize sales upon customer receipt of merchandise, which for direct channel revenues reflect an estimate of shipments that have not yet been received by our customer based on shipping terms and historical delivery times. Our shipping and handling revenues are included in Net Sales with the related costs included in Costs of Goods Sold, Buying and Occupancy in our Consolidated Statements of Income. We also provide a reserve for projected merchandise returns based on historical experience. Net Sales exclude sales and other similar taxes collected from customers.
We offer a loyalty program that allows customers to earn points based on purchasing activity. As customers accumulate points and reach point thresholds, points are converted to awards that may be used to purchase merchandise in stores or online. Points expire if a loyalty account is inactive for a certain period of time, while awards expire if unused after approximately three months. We allocate revenue to points earned on qualifying purchases and defer recognition until the awards are redeemed.
The amount of revenue deferred is based on the relative stand-alone selling price method, which includes an estimate for points and awards not expected to be redeemed based on historical experience.
We sell gift cards with no expiration dates to customers. We do not charge administrative fees on unused gift cards. We recognize revenue from gift cards when they are redeemed by the customer. In addition, we recognize revenue on unredeemed gift cards where the likelihood of the gift card being redeemed is remote and there is no legal obligation to remit the unredeemed gift cards to relevant jurisdictions (gift card breakage). Gift card breakage revenue is recognized in proportion, and over the same period, as actual gift card redemptions. We determine the gift card breakage rate based on historical redemption patterns. Gift card breakage is included in Net Sales in our Consolidated Statements of Income.
We also recognize revenues associated with franchise, license, wholesale and sourcing arrangements. Revenue recognized under franchise and license arrangements generally consists of royalties earned and recognized upon sale of merchandise by franchise and license partners to retail customers. Revenue is generally recognized under wholesale and sourcing arrangements at the time the title passes to the partner.
ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK.
The market risk inherent in our financial instruments represents the potential loss in fair value, earnings or cash flows arising from adverse changes in foreign currency exchange rates or interest rates. We may use derivative financial instruments like foreign currency forward contracts, cross-currency swaps and interest rate swap arrangements to manage exposure to market risks. We do not use derivative financial instruments for trading purposes.
Foreign Exchange Rate Risk
Our Canadian dollar denominated earnings are subject to exchange rate risk as substantially all our merchandise sold in Canada is sourced through U.S. dollar transactions. Although we utilize foreign currency forward contracts to partially offset risks associated with our operations in Canada, these measures may not succeed in offsetting all the short-term impact of foreign currency rate movements and generally may not be effective in offsetting the long-term impact of sustained shifts in foreign currency rates.
Further, although our royalty arrangements with our international partners are denominated in U.S. dollars, the royalties we receive in U.S. dollars are calculated based on sales in the local currency. As a result, our royalties in these arrangements are exposed to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.
Interest Rate Risk
Our investment portfolio primarily consists of interest-bearing instruments that are classified as cash and cash equivalents based on their original maturities. Our investment portfolio is maintained in accordance with our investment policy, which specifies permitted types of investments, specifies credit quality standards and maturity profiles and limits credit exposure to any single issuer. The primary objective of our investment activities is the preservation of principal, the maintenance of liquidity and the maximization of interest income while minimizing risk. Our investment portfolio is primarily composed of U.S. government obligations, U.S. Treasury and AAA-rated money market funds, commercial paper and bank deposits. Given the short-term nature and quality of investments in our portfolio, we do not believe there is any material risk to principal associated with increases or decreases in interest rates.
All of our Long-term Debt as of January 28, 2023 has fixed interest rates. We will from time to time adjust our exposure to interest rate risk by entering into interest rate swap arrangements. Our exposure to interest rate changes is limited to the fair value of the debt issued, which would not have a material impact on our earnings or cash flows.
Concentration of Credit Risk
We maintain cash and cash equivalents and derivative contracts with various major financial institutions. We monitor the relative credit standing of financial institutions with whom we transact and limit the amount of credit exposure with any one entity. Our investment portfolio is primarily composed of U.S. government obligations, U.S. Treasury and AAA-rated money market funds, commercial paper and bank deposits. We also periodically review the relative credit standing of franchise, license and wholesale partners and other entities to which we grant credit terms in the normal course of business.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments
As of January 28, 2023, we believe that the carrying values of Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable and Accrued Expenses approximate fair value because of their short maturity.
The following table provides a summary of the principal value and estimated fair value of outstanding Long-term Debt as of January 28, 2023 and January 29, 2022:
|January 28, 2023||January 29, 2022|
| ||(in millions)|
|Principal Value||$||4,915 ||$||4,915 |
|Fair Value, Estimated (a)||4,707 ||5,493 |
(a)The estimated fair values are based on reported transaction prices and are not necessarily indicative of the amounts that we could realize in a current market exchange.
ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA.
BATH & BODY WORKS, INC.
INDEX TO CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Our fiscal year ends on the Saturday nearest to January 31. Fiscal years are designated in the Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes by the calendar year in which the fiscal year commences. The results for 2022, 2021 and 2020 refer to the 52-week periods ended January 28, 2023, January 29, 2022 and January 30, 2021, respectively.
Management’s Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
Management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting as defined in Rules 13a-15(f) and 15d-15(f) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The Company’s internal control system is designed to provide reasonable assurance to the Company’s management and Board of Directors regarding the preparation and fair presentation of published financial statements. Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Therefore, even those systems determined to be effective can provide only reasonable assurance with respect to financial statement preparation and presentation. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
Management assessed the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of January 28, 2023. In making this assessment, management used the criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework) (the COSO criteria).
Based on our assessment and the COSO criteria, management believes that the Company maintained effective internal control over financial reporting as of January 28, 2023.
The Company’s independent registered public accounting firm, Ernst & Young LLP, has issued an attestation report on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting. Ernst & Young LLP’s report appears on the following page and expresses an unqualified opinion on the effectiveness of the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of January 28, 2023.
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
To the Shareholders and the Board of Directors of Bath & Body Works, Inc.
Opinion on Internal Control over Financial Reporting
We have audited Bath & Body Works, Inc.’s internal control over financial reporting as of January 28, 2023, based on criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework) (the COSO criteria). In our opinion, Bath & Body Works, Inc. (the Company) maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of January 28, 2023, based on the COSO criteria.
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the consolidated balance sheets of Bath & Body Works, Inc. as of January 28, 2023 and January 29, 2022 and the related consolidated statements of income, comprehensive income, total equity (deficit), and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended January 28, 2023, and the related notes and our report dated March 17, 2023 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.
Basis for Opinion
The Company’s management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting included in the accompanying Management’s Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects.
Our audit included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk, and performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.
Definition and Limitations of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.
Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
/s/ Ernst & Young LLP
Grandview Heights, Ohio
March 17, 2023
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
To the Shareholders and the Board of Directors of Bath & Body Works, Inc.
Opinion on the Financial Statements
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Bath & Body Works, Inc. (the Company) as of January 28, 2023 and January 29, 2022, the related consolidated statements of income, comprehensive income, total equity (deficit), and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended January 28, 2023, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “consolidated financial statements”). In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company at January 28, 2023 and January 29, 2022, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended January 28, 2023, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the Company’s internal control over financial reporting as of January 28, 2023, based on criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework), and our report dated March 17, 2023 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.
Basis for Opinion
These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company’s management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
Critical Audit Matter
The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current period audit of the financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective or complex judgments. The communication of the critical audit matter does not alter in any way our opinion on the consolidated financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing separate opinions on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.
|Description of the Matter||The Company launched its loyalty program nationwide during the third quarter of 2022, which offers members the ability to earn points and redeem awards. As described in Note 1 to the consolidated financial statements, revenue from the loyalty program is recognized when the members redeem awards or points expire unused. The Company allocates revenue to points earned on qualifying purchases and defers recognition until the awards are redeemed. The amount of revenue deferred is based on the relative standalone selling price method, which includes an estimate for points and awards not expected to be redeemed based on historical experience.|
|Auditing the Company’s estimate of loyalty deferred revenue was complex as the calculation involved management’s assumptions, such as the standalone selling price and expected redemption rate, which drive the revenue deferral. |
|How We Addressed the Matter in Our Audit||We obtained an understanding, evaluated the design, and tested the operating effectiveness of the Company’s estimation process and controls supporting the measurement and recognition of the amount of loyalty revenue deferred. This included testing controls over management’s review of the assumptions and other inputs used in the estimation and the completeness and accuracy of issuance and redemption data used in the calculation.|
|Our audit procedures included, among others, evaluating the methodology used, analyzing the significant assumptions discussed above, and testing the accuracy and completeness of the underlying data used in management’s calculation. To test the standalone selling price per award, we validated that the price per award was appropriate based on purchases by loyalty members. To audit the redemption rate, we tested redemption activity and compared the results of that testing to the redemption rate used by management in its estimate. We also considered recent trends in redemption activity and the impact on the redemption rate. In addition, we performed sensitivity analyses of significant assumptions to evaluate the change in the deferral amounts.|
/s/ Ernst & Young LLP
We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2003.
Grandview Heights, Ohio
March 17, 2023
BATH & BODY WORKS, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(in millions except per share amounts)
|Net Sales||$||7,560 ||$||7,882 ||$||6,434 |
|Costs of Goods Sold, Buying and Occupancy||(4,305)||(4,027)||(3,338)|
|Gross Profit||3,255 ||3,855 ||3,096 |
|General, Administrative and Store Operating Expenses||(1,879)||(1,846)||(1,492)|
|Operating Income||1,376 ||2,009 ||1,604 |
|Other Income (Loss)||17 ||(198)||(50)|
|Income from Continuing Operations Before Income Taxes||1,045 ||1,423 ||1,122 |
|Provision for Income Taxes||251 ||348 ||257 |
|Net Income from Continuing Operations||794 ||1,075 ||865 |
|Income (Loss) from Discontinued Operations, Net of Tax||6 ||258 ||(21)|
|Net Income||$||800 ||$||1,333 ||$||844 |
|Net Income (Loss) per Basic Share|
|Continuing Operations||$||3.43 ||$||4.00 ||$||3.11 |
|Discontinued Operations||0.03 ||0.96 ||(0.07)|
|Total Net Income per Basic Share||$||3.45 ||$||4.96 ||$||3.04 |
|Net Income (Loss) per Diluted Share|
|Continuing Operations||$||3.40 ||$||3.94 ||$||3.07 |
|Discontinued Operations||0.03 ||0.95 ||(0.07)|
|Total Net Income per Diluted Share||$||3.43 ||$||4.88 ||$||3.00 |
BATH & BODY WORKS, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME
|Net Income||$||800 ||$||1,333 ||$||844 |
|Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax:|
|Foreign Currency Translation||(2)||2 ||(3)|
|Reclassification of Currency Translation to Earnings||— ||— ||36 |
|Unrealized Gain (Loss) on Cash Flow Hedges||2 ||1 ||(2)|
|Reclassification of Cash Flow Hedges to Earnings||(2)||2 ||— |
|Total Other Comprehensive Income (Loss), Net of Tax||(2)||5 ||31 |
|Total Comprehensive Income||$||798 ||$||1,338 ||$||875 |
The accompanying Notes are an integral part of these Consolidated Financial Statements.
BATH & BODY WORKS, INC.
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(in millions except par value amounts)
|Cash and Cash Equivalents||$||1,232 ||$||1,979 |
|Accounts Receivable, Net||226 ||240 |
|Inventories||709 ||709 |
|Other||99 ||81 |
|Total Current Assets||2,266 ||3,009 |
|Property and Equipment, Net||1,193 ||1,009 |
|Operating Lease Assets||1,050 ||1,021 |
|Goodwill||628 ||628 |
|Trade Name||165 ||165 |
|Deferred Income Taxes||37 ||45 |
|Other Assets||155 ||149 |
|Total Assets||$||5,494 ||$||6,026 |
|LIABILITIES AND EQUITY (DEFICIT)|
|Accounts Payable||$||455 ||$||435 |
|Accrued Expenses and Other||673 ||651 |
|Current Operating Lease Liabilities||177 ||170 |
|Income Taxes||74 ||34 |
|Total Current Liabilities||1,379 ||1,290 |
|Deferred Income Taxes||168 ||157 |
|Long-term Debt||4,862 ||4,854 |
|Long-term Operating Lease Liabilities||1,014 ||989 |
|Other Long-term Liabilities||276 ||253 |
|Shareholders’ Equity (Deficit):|
Preferred Stock—$1.00 par value; 10 shares authorized; none issued
|— ||— |
Common Stock—$0.50 par value; 1,000 shares authorized; 244 and 269 shares issued; 229 and 254 shares outstanding, respectively
|122 ||134 |
|Paid-in Capital||817 ||893 |
|Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income||78 ||80 |
|Retained Earnings (Accumulated Deficit)||(2,401)||(1,803)|
Less: Treasury Stock, at Average Cost; 15 and 15 shares, respectively
|Total Shareholders’ Equity (Deficit)||(2,206)||(1,518)|
|Noncontrolling Interest||1 ||1 |
|Total Equity (Deficit)||(2,205)||(1,517)|
|Total Liabilities and Equity (Deficit)||$||5,494 ||$||6,026 |
The accompanying Notes are an integral part of these Consolidated Financial Statements.
BATH & BODY WORKS, INC.
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF TOTAL EQUITY (DEFICIT)
(in millions except per share amounts)
| ||Common Stock||Paid-In|
Earnings (Accumulated Deficit)
|Noncontrolling Interest||Total Equity (Deficit)|
|Balance, February 1, 2020||277 ||$||142 ||$||847 ||$||52 ||$||(2,182)||$||(358)||$||4 ||$||(1,495)|
|Net Income||— ||— ||— ||— ||844 ||— ||— ||844 |
|Other Comprehensive Income||— ||— ||— ||31 ||— ||— ||— ||31 |
|Total Comprehensive Income||— ||— ||— ||31 ||844 ||— ||— ||875 |
Cash Dividends ($0.30 per share)
|— ||— ||— ||— ||(83)||— ||— ||(83)|
|Share-based Compensation and Other||1 ||1 ||44 ||— ||— ||— ||(3)||42 |
|Balance, January 30, 2021||278 ||$||143 ||$||891 ||$||83 ||$||(1,421)||$||(358)||$||1 ||$||(661)|
|Net Income||— ||— ||— ||— ||1,333 ||— ||— ||1,333 |
|Other Comprehensive Income||— |