Open main menu

L Brands, Inc. (formerly known as Limited Brands, Inc. and The Limited, Inc.) is an American fashion retailer based in Columbus, Ohio.

L Brands, Inc.
Traded asNYSELB
S&P 500 Component
ISINUS5017971046 Edit this on Wikidata
Founded1963; 56 years ago (1963)
FounderLeslie H. Wexner
HeadquartersColumbus, Ohio, U.S.
Key people
Les Wexner, CEO
ProductsClothing, fashion accessory
RevenueIncrease US$ 12.574 billion (2016)[1]
Decrease US$ 2.002 billion (2016)[1]
Decrease US$ 1.158 billion (2016)[1]
Total assetsIncrease US$ 8.493 billion (2016)[2]
Total equityDecrease US$ -259 million (2016)[2]
Number of employees
59,200 (2017)[3]
SubsidiariesVictoria's Secret
Bath & Body Works

Its flagship brands include Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works. L Brands posted $12.63 billion in revenue in 2017, and was listed as 231 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of largest United States companies by revenue.[4]


Early historyEdit

Bella Cabakoff was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and moved to Columbus as a toddler.[5] At age 21, she became the youngest buyer for the Lazarus department store chain. After spending over 20 years working for Lazarus, in 1951, she and her husband Harry Wexner opened a women's clothing store named Leslie's (after their son) on State Street. This store became the training ground for Leslie "Les" Wexner.

In 1963, he borrowed $5,000 from his aunt and $5,000 from the bank and opened a store at the Kingsdale Shopping Center in Upper Arlington, Ohio. This store was named "The Limited" because the store focused on clothing for younger women, unlike his parents' general merchandise store. Later in 1964, Bella and Harry closed their store to join their son in his venture.[citation needed]

The original board consisted of only the three family members and longtime friend Jim Waldron, who served as Senior Vice President. Bella Wexner served as secretary until her death in 2001, Harry as chairman (he served until his death in 1975), and Leslie, CEO from inception, who later succeeded his father as the chairman. As of 2014, he and his family continue to own 17% of LB. In 1969, Wexner took The Limited Brands public and sold 47,600 shares at $7.25 a share. In 1977, The Limited moved into its main headquarters on Morse Road in Columbus, from which L Brands still operates today. In 1982, The Limited was first listed on the New York Stock Exchange.[6]

Acquisitions and divestituresEdit

The 1980s started a string of acquisitions. In 1982, the Victoria's Secret brand, store, and catalogue were purchased from Roy Raymond for $1 million.[7] Also in 1982, 207 Lane Bryant stores were purchased. In 1985, the exclusive Henri Bendel store on Fifth Avenue in New York City was purchased for $10 million and 798 Lerner stores for $297 million. Finally, in 1988, 25 Abercrombie & Fitch stores were purchased for $46 million. In 1996, The Limited ended its ownership of the A&F brand, when it was spun off into a publicly traded company.[8]

The 1990s saw the initial development of the Limited Too, Bath & Body Works, Structure, and Victoria's Secret Beauty. Later in 1998, several Bath & Body Works stores were converted to The White Barn Candle Company stores to begin a home fragrance brand.[9]

In 2005, Limited Brands purchased home fragrance manufacturer Slatkin & Company.[10]

On August 3, 2007, Limited Brands sold 75% ownership of its flagship Limited chain to buyout firm Sun Capital Partners, Inc. In 2010, the remaining 25% of shares were also purchased by Sun Capital. Stefan M. Selig from Bank of America was involved in these deals.[11] The Limited announced on its website that all The Limited stores in the United States had officially closed their doors on January 7, 2017. The web retail operation of The Limited stores,, was announced to continue to be open for business and ship nationwide.[12] Despite this, The Limited online also soon filed for bankruptcy and discontinued all services.[13] However, the brand was revived in mid-2017 by Sycamore Partners subsidiary Belk and Limited-branded merchandise is available on its website.[14]


L Brands currently operates the following retail brands:

Although not part of L Brands, they also have distribution rights (exclusive or non-exclusive) for the following brands:

Previous brands that were spun off include:

Former brandsEdit


  1. ^ a b c Limited Brands (LTD) annual SEC income statement filing via Wikinvest
  2. ^ a b Limited Brands (LTD) annual SEC balance sheet filing via Wikinvest
  3. ^
  4. ^ "L Brands". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-11-25.
  5. ^ Wexner obituary in the New York Times
  6. ^ "L Brands - Heritage". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  7. ^ "L Brands - Heritage". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  8. ^ "COMPANY NEWS; LIMITED TO SPIN OFF ITS STAKE IN ABERCROMBIE & FITCH". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  9. ^ Willett, Julie A. (2010). The American Beauty Industry Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9780313359491.
  10. ^ Dash, Eric (13 May 2005). "Limited Is Said To Be Buying Home Fragrance Maker". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  11. ^ Dana, Mattioli (7 November 2013). "Bank of America's Selig Nominated for Commerce Department Post". WSJ. Retrieved 14 May 2014.
  12. ^ "The Limited shutters all of its stores nationwide". Fox 61. Fox 61. 8 January 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
  13. ^ Limited. "Coming Soon - The Limited ™". Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ Limited Brands spins off last of its apparel stores, 2007 Associated Press/The Philadelphia Inquirer.

External linksEdit