// Victoria’s Secret owed 208 creditors almost half billion pounds before collapsing
// The administration placed over 800 jobs at risk in June
// Deloitte advisers were drafted in to assess the impact of Covid-19 on business
Victoria’s Secret had owed 208 creditors a total of £466 million prior to its administration in June, which placed over 800 jobs at risk.
The lingerie retailer’s UK division recorded an operating loss of £109 million for the 16 months to May, according to documents filed at Companies House.
It drafted in Deloitte advisers to assess the impact of Covid-19 on business. The firm said it would conduct a “light touch” administration as it seeks a potential buyer.
Deloitte said that money owed to 208 unsecured creditors totalled £466 million, but added that there should be sufficient cash to pay some of it back.
In June, British fashion retailer Next expressed interest in acquiring Victoria’s Secret, and went on to be chosen as the “preferred” UK franchise partner for the lingerie business after agreeing on an outline deal to take over the business.
Next beat off bidding competition from Marks & Spencer by securing an exclusivity agreement until the end of September while it finalises a deal.
Next previously said it was looking to expand its wider business by linking up with brands in multiple categories, while also opening standalones in expanding categories, such as beauty.
The future of Victoria’s Secret UK store estate is also dependent on landlords agreeing to readjust its lease terms to reflect the market conditions in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Victoria’s Secret opened its first UK store in 2012 and was forced to shut stores when the pandemic hit, losing almost three months worth of sales.
It put 804 of 827 employees on furlough and staff have now been brought back after 24 branches reopened.
The business is still trading as normal in the US, where its parent company L Brands is based.
The UK arm recorded a £49 million and £171 million operating loss in 2018 and 2019 respectively.