Photographer: Craig Warga/Bloomberg

Victoria's Secret Cuts Jobs as Lingerie Giant Shifts Away From Iconic Catalog

Victoria’s Secret is cutting about 200 jobs as the lingerie business eliminates merchandise categories and shifts away from its famous catalog.

The company, owned by L Brands Inc., will be reorganized into units focused on lingerie, beauty and its Pink brand, according to a statement Thursday. Victoria’s Secret also plans to rely more on loyalty programs and other ways to connect with customers, rather than its traditional print mailings.

The move follows the abrupt departure of Victoria’s Secret Chief Executive Officer Sharen Jester Turney earlier this year after a decade at the helm. L Brands’ founder and CEO, the 78-year-old Les Wexner, is now directly in charge of Victoria’s Secret, his company’s biggest business. The leaders of the lingerie company’s three new business units will report directly to him.

In de-emphasizing the catalog, Victoria’s Secret is signaling that the glossy publication is no longer as effective a selling tool -- another example of the Internet eroding print institutions. Even so, Victoria’s Secret sales exceeded predictions last month. They gained 2 percent on a same-store basis, the company said Thursday. Analysts had estimated 1.7 percent, according to Retail Metrics.

The job cuts will affect workers in the New York and Columbus, Ohio, areas, the company said.

“These changes are necessary for our industry-leading brands to reach their significant potential,” Wexner said in the statement. “Nonetheless, decisions about people are the most difficult ones to make.”

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