Between 2012 and 2014, La Senza reduced its total number of stores in Canada from 230 to 148 and abandoned any hope of moving into the US marketplace. Conversely, sister brand Victoria’s Secret grew from 16 to 31 stores in Canada over the same period. This begs the question: what does the future hold for La Senza in Canada?
Frankly, the outlook is grim. Senior leadership at La Senza parent L Brands has clearly given up on growing this brand, and is instead focusing time, money and energy into building marquee brands Victoria’s Secret and PINK in North America and beyond. Perhaps L brands is considering a La Senza sale? If so, which brands could fill an offering gap with this once successful brand?
Along with a multitude of financial buyers, a number of strategic partnerships could be tremendously successful. Would Bonnie Brooks find La Senza a good home among Hudson’s Bay Company’s offerings? Does Loblaw Companies need a counterpart to Joe Fresh, giving them opportunity to further expand their retail fashion footprint? Or how about an acquisition by Aldo Group? The Canadian shoe icon could apply its wealth of knowledge and experience to La Senza to help it finally regain traction in the coveted but competitive US marketplace.
These are intriguing options. Maintaining the status quo is not. La Senza must find real leadership and direction, and fast. To survive, this brand needs a true visionary to step into the role and create a new future.