Bath & Body Works opens, renovates and closes stores this year.

According to parent company L Brands' quarterly earnings presentation, which was released Thursday before a profit call with analysts Thursday morning, the fleet will be expanded by 46 new stores, 175 renovations and 24 closures.

In February, L Brands announced that by 2019, 53 Victoria's Secret stores will be closed. According to documents released on Wednesday, 35 shops closed on 4 May.

Since May 4, Bath & Body Works has closed three stores and opened 14 stores this year.

"We will continue to actively manage our real estate portfolio, opening 822 stores, closing 675 stores and selling 130 stores in the last 10 years," said L Brands in a meeting minutes for Thursday's meeting.

Between openings and closures, Bath & Body Works grows 3%, while sister company Victoria's Secret shrinks 3%.

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Over 7,000 store closures were announced as early as 2019.
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After the closures and openings, there will be 1,641 Bath & Body Works, 909 Victoria's Secret and 144 Pink Stores in the US.

Victoria's Secret, which also opened two new stores and three Pink locations, continued to struggle, posting a similar 5% decline in sales in the first quarter. At Bath & Body Works, comparable sales increased 13%.

L Brands announced that it would continue to invest in the White Barn concept of Bath & Body Works, "which continues to deliver high returns, with approximately 200 White Barn projects planned for 2019 in line with the past three years."

More than 7,000 store closures were announced for 2019, more than in 2018. That year, Gymboree, Shopko, Charlotte Russe, Payless ShoeSource and Dressbarn announced that all locations had closed.

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Bath & Body Works opens and closes stores in 2019. (Photo: Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY)

Last week, Coresight Research, a global market research firm, estimated that 12,000 stores could close by the end of the year.

Analysts say a trade war with China could be possible lead to more widespread closures.

According to L Brands, the new forecast takes into account the additional impact of the recent tariff increase on goods imported from China.

"Our largest supplier country is the United States, where most of the products are manufactured by Bath & Body Works and Victoria's Secret Beauty," the company said. "China currently accounts for less than 20% of our total production, and we have taken action and will continue to take action to reduce our exposure to China."

Follow Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @ KellyTyko

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