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Victoria’s Secret Returns To ‘Sexy’ Image Amid Sales Decline

Lingerie brand shifts away from inclusive narrative as sales plummet, focusing on profitability.

Renowned lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret & Co (NYSE:VSCO) is reportedly returning to its previously “sexy” image, moving away from its recent inclusive narrative. This shift has been prompted by a significant decline in sales.

An image of a Victoria’s Secret perfume for display. The plummeted in sales by 8% during the tenure of former CEO Amy Hauk. (ANNA KEIBALO/UNSPLASHED) 

A report by Fox Business on Monday revealed that Victoria’s Secret’s transition from a “hyper-sexualized” image to a more inclusive one has not resulted in any financial gains. The company’s projected revenue for 2023 is slated at $6.2 billion, a 5% decrease from last year and well below the $7.5 billion revenue of 2020.

The company had made efforts to promote inclusivity, appointing pro-LGBTQ women’s soccer player, Megan Rapinoe, and a transgender woman as brand ambassadors. However, these initiatives did not lead to an increase in sales.

The sales slump followed the company’s decision to establish a predominantly female board of directors and discontinue the use of the famous “Angels” supermodels. These moves were criticized for perpetuating a “patriarchal, sexist” message, according to Rapinoe.

At its peak, Victoria’s Secret featured prominent models including Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Gisele Bundchen, Adriana Lima, and Alessandra Ambrosio at the peak of their sales.

The company was criticized that brand was catering to a “woke” culture.

The company plummeted by 8% in sales under the company’s previous CEO Amy Hauk. Hauk was on the job for less than a year.

Victoria’s Secret’s new approach, as stated by the brand’s president Greg Unis, is to make “sexiness inclusive.” He stressed celebrating diverse customer experiences and announced plans to launch activewear and swimwear lines, revamp existing stores, and open 400 new outlets outside the U.S. to boost profitability and annual sales above $7 billion.

Despite the criticism for its ‘hyper-sexualized’ image, the company’s decision to return to its roots suggests that it believes this branding is more profitable.

The company had previously announced a strategic plan to “accelerate the core and drive growth initiatives,” to improve the performance of the Victoria’s Secret and PINK Brands.

The plan announced in October 2023, also included a revision of third-quarter earnings per share outlook. However, it seems that these initiatives did not lead to the desired increase in sales, prompting the company to revisit its original branding.

The company is overhauling their advertising efforts in order to recover from their sales slump in order to cross over to $7 billion in annual revenue.


Produced in association with Benzinga

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