Bath & Body Works reports record sales as CEO steps down

By Austyn King | Published: 24-Feb-2022

The L Brands-owned retailer saw sales bubble up to almost $8bn for the full year 2021, ahead of Andrew Meslow's decision to depart this spring

US-based beauty retailer Bath & Body Works has reported record sales in its fourth quarter and full-year 2021 results, ahead of its CEO's plans to step down this spring.

Overall net sales for the full year 2021 increased 22% to US$7.8bn for the year ending January 2022, enjoying an upswing in demand for its soaps, lotions, fragrance and candles as consumers invested in self care.

Sales for Q42021, meanwhile, were up 11% to $3bn compared to the same period in 2020, capping a 'historic' year for the retailer, which parent company L Brands separated from then-underperforming stablemate Victoria's Secret last year.

“This past year was historic for Bath & Body Works, as we made incredible progress building on our already strong foundation, ensuring our business will remain healthy and relevant well into the future,” said CEO Andrew Meslow.

“Looking forward, we remain focused on leveraging our strong brand position and our vertically integrated supply chain, continuing to execute with excellence, investing in capabilities and maximising shareholder value.

“We have confidence in our opportunities for long-term growth as we continue to focus on maintaining close connections to our customers and delivering compelling products and experiences at a great value.”

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On the back of the retailer's strong performance, Meslow also announced his plans to step down as CEO this spring, due to health reasons.

After almost 20 years heading up the US' largest bath shop chain, he will depart this May, while Sarah Nash, Executive Chair, will assume the role of Interim CEO while the company searches for a new boss.

Meslow added: “As difficult as this decision was, I know I will be leaving this amazing company in highly capable hands with Sarah’s oversight, the deep and experienced bench of leadership and the most talented associates in the industry.

“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of a team that is second to none, Bath & Body Works has achieved incredible results, including successfully completing the spin-off of Victoria’s Secret and becoming a standalone public company, focusing on an omni-channel mindset and capabilities and delivering record financial results in 2021.”

“I am proud of what the Bath & Body Works team has accomplished and am confident in its bright future.”

“Andrew has been a tremendous leader for the organisation and has made important contributions throughout his tenure,” said Nash, adding that she was 'honoured' to take over the role of CEO while Bath & Body Works looks for its next leader.

“Through the separation and formation of Bath & Body Works as an independent company, I have had the pleasure of working with the company’s leadership team and am confident in our strong and deep team.

“The company delivered record performance in fiscal 2021, and we are well positioned for continued success.”

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