Sunday, November 22, 2015

Les Wexner the founder of The Limited

Leslie "Les" H. Wexner was born to Russian Jewish immigrant parents in 1937. His parents, Bella and Harry, opened a clothing store - which they named Leslie’s – in downtown Columbus in 1951 and it was there that Wexner began learning about the apparel industry.

Young Wexner dreamed of becoming an architect but was discouraged by his father and instead went to Ohio State University to study business and law.

In 1963, Wexner borrowed $5000 from an aunt and opened his first store, The Limited. The name came from Wexner’s conviction that the store ought to specialize. The new store sold moderately priced, casual women’s sportswear. His ambitious were modest.

In its first year, The Limited achieved $160,000 in sales – about 60 percent more than he had expected. A year later, he opened his second store and by 1970 he had eleven stores.

After the company went public in 1969, he used some of the profit from the stock sale to further expand, and had built the chain up to 100 stores by 1976.

Wexner saw an opportunity in 1982 with the struggling lingerie company Victoria’s Secret. Wexner stepped in, bought it for a million dollars and embarked upon a major overhaul.
Les Wexner the founder of The Limited

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