Victoria’s Secret says that nearly 50% of its holiday merchandise is stuck in transit as Black Friday quickly approaches and gift shopping speeds up.
The company said it ordered 200 million units of merchandise for the fourth quarter holiday sales period, but 90 million of those items are delayed because of the supply chain crisis, as ships loaded with products from overseas remain stuck at US ports.
What’s worse: The total holiday order was even higher, initially 210 million units, Martin Waters, CEO of Victoria’s Secret & Co, said Thursday during the company’s first earnings call since it spun off from L Brands earlier this year.
“Some merchandise was at risk of not getting here at all. So 10 million units were canceled,” he said. “And in addition to that, we have 100 vessels at anchor right now that are not coming ashore.”
Waters said Victoria’s Secret pivoted to air freight to get in merchandise faster. “Ninety percent [of holiday products] are coming in by air,” he said. “But that’s not super quick. It used to take two days by air. Now it’s nine days versus two.”
Regarding the brand’s pajama sets, which tend to be popular holiday gift items, Waters said the retailer has 30% less PJs in the system right now versus the same period last year.
“That is clearly bad for business” Waters said. “And so it impacts the customer. She doesn’t see the array of newness that she’s used to seeing at this time of year.”
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