Victoria's Secret will close 53 stores

The lingerie icon's parent company, L Brands, announced a 7% drop in sales over their last quarter and 40% in the a year ago - although the company's flagship brand, Bath and Body Works, continued to do well.

A drop in sales of 3 per cent over the Christmas period, combined with a fall of in-store sales by 7 per cent, meant shares in the parent company dropped by nearly 9 per cent this week.

Victoria's Secret has failed to adapt to consumer demand for more custom-fitted bras and inclusive messaging and advertisements.

Victoria's Secret has three stores in the Fresno area: One in River Park, one at Fashion Fair mall and another at Sierra Vista Mall. The company closed 30 stores a year ago as more people turned to online shopping than malls.

The company has lost 3.8 million customers over the two past years to rivals like Amazon and American Eagle's Aerie, according to an estimate from Neil Saunders, analyst at GlobalData Retail. L Brands CEO Stuart Burgdoefer said the company has been "more promotional than we would like over the last several years" in a call with analysts Thursday. Perhaps with that in mind, Victoria's Secret has promised the return of its popular swimwear line online next month, which was originally discontinued in 2016.

Wall Street reaction to the earnings announcement appeared negative Thursday, with shares in L Brands trading eight per cent lower at 10:30 a.m. than Wednesday's closing level.

L Brands operates 2,943 company-owned specialty stores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Greater China.

In addition to the increase in closures, L Brands says it has "substantially pulled back on capital investment" at Victoria's Secret stores.

"It's an attractive category", Burgdoefer said of the lingerie business. Analysts had expected sales of $4.88 billion, Total sales at Victoria's Secret were $2.531 billion, down from $2.668 billion past year.

The company has not publicly identified which specific stores will be closed.