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The Rise And Fall Of Victoria’s Secret

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When Victoria's Secret entered the market in the 1980s, it revolutionized the retail of women's undergarments. Previously, women viewed their bras on a binary — strictly functional for day-to-day or fancy for special occasions. Victoria's Secret combined the structure and function of day-to-day bras with the fun prints and feel of fancier bras. But 30 years later, the brand is falling behind the times as consumer priorities shift and younger brands like Aerie and Rihanna's Savage x Fenty adapt. The lingerie brand, owned by L Brands, has reported negative same-store sales for the past three years now, as women steer clear of its bedazzled bras and underwear for comfortable pieces in cooler colors. That's as a new cohort of start-ups like Adore Me, Third Love, Lively, Cuup and Knix are resonating with younger consumers as they surge in popularity on social media channels like Instagram. Wall Street analysts and investors alike are unsure if L Brands will be successful in reinventing Victoria's Secret's increasingly obsolete bras business. Even a recent slew of heavy promotions doesn't appear to be moving products off of shelves, according to UBS analyst Jay Sole, who's been tracking promotional activity in stores and online. "The pivotal question on the stock is can L Brands rehabilitate the Victoria's Secret brand image," Sole said in a note to clients earlier this week, ahead of L Brand's monthly sales report. He said he noticed Victoria's Secret's January promotions "increased significantly" from a year ago. And that typically means a company didn't sell enough during the holiday season, thus needed to drop prices to try to lure shoppers in. Despite its struggles, though, Victoria's Secret is still a behemoth in its industry today. It's been estimated L Brands would account for roughly 63 percent of sales in the lingerie industry in the U.S. in 2018, according to a study put out by IBISWorld last October. The group defines the industry to include retailers that predominantly sell intimate apparel, including bras, panties and other lingerie items, for women. No other companies were on track to account for more than 5 percent of revenues, while American Eagle's Aerie brand had 3.5 percent and Chico's Soma brand had 3 percent, IBISWorld said at the time the report was released.» Subscribe to CNBC: http://cnb.cx/SubscribeCNBC About CNBC: From 'Wall Street' to 'Main Street' to award winning original documentaries and Reality TV series, CNBC has you covered. Experience special sneak peeks of your favorite shows, exclusive video and more. Connect with CNBC News Online Get the latest news: http://www.cnbc.com/ Follow CNBC on LinkedIn: https://cnb.cx/LinkedInCNBC Follow CNBC News on Facebook: http://cnb.cx/LikeCNBC Follow CNBC News on Twitter: http://cnb.cx/FollowCNBC Follow CNBC News on Google+: http://cnb.cx/PlusCNBC Follow CNBC News on Instagram: http://cnb.cx/InstagramCNBC #CNBC #VictoriasSecret How Victoria’s Secret Disrupted Lingerie - Then Fell Behind
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Text Comments (5671)
Prickly Pickle (2 hours ago)
You can buy affordable cute lingerie almost anywhere now.
Ella Day (4 hours ago)
the only thing i buy from victoria's secret is the body mists 😂
luan trieu (5 hours ago)
People don't want to buy products showing underweight models
77Tadams (2 days ago)
I was a huge consumer of their brand....last 7 or so years....I have seen the product quality of the bras I loved go down....then again a VS bra would last me 3 years! Now I find that the quality is down and they last around a year. I didn't mind spending 80-150 on one bra...now I figure I can get target bras that last a year and for 25 bucks. Why spend on a VS bra, especially when I can get the same quality from a lower brand and get more of them??? VS is going out.
DAVE MISAL (2 days ago)
I knew if hung around long enough I'd get to the ridiculous SJW crap eventually.
med ray (3 days ago)
Most Millennial women are broke hos and deadbeats, and men don't want them.
Benny R (3 days ago)
Plus there are so many ways to watch entertainment. Through hulu, Netflix, YouTube etc . The audience is divided among these platforms that's a contributor
laura Minnick (4 days ago)
I've always had that "perfect body" shape and honestly I don't like it. It seems while people promote other body types for not being "perfect" they've degraded people who do
mstrthief00 (5 days ago)
I'm Here For Science
fredrika27 (5 days ago)
Women who are plus sizes can't go in to VS and shop. They lost their lucrative 35 to 60+ age group who have more cash to spend when they refused to sell to us! They forgot that Generation X grew up on VS products and as such we won't be wearing Playtex or Maiden Form! Quality for value is another issue. I have VS panties from 2000 and 2018! Guess which undies are crap? The current product doesn't last beyond a year and cost upward of £18 (€20 or $27) a pair at Heathrow airport! Women can go to Boots, Real and Walmart and purchase a bag of 7 Hanes or Fruit of the Loom knickers in their size that fits for £12! VS didn't get the memo that their competition is selling better product for cheaper!
Liz like friz (5 days ago)
I love how these are run by men. Like wow. How is this the norm? Like what?
Karma (5 days ago)
Shop online at Felina instead! Super comfortable panties and variety of bras and lingierie :) affordable, great quality and they have good deals
Karma (5 days ago)
Hate the underwear, very poor quality ick.
kathy Mee (5 days ago)
I used to love and always wanted everything at VS when in high school, but it was around 2010 that I noticed the quality was really poor and that was a huge turnoff. A lot of other brands and department store items were better. They also kept having sales - not a good idea bec that hurts the perceived value. The brand confusion with PINK also started. At the same time, they started producing too many types of merchandise which diluted the brand. So I really never go there anymore.
Woo Cash (5 days ago)
the fall of the usa is near if they want to promote unatractiveness and unhealthy overweight models and transgender models. It shows the public has lost its normal values
Greg Carlson (6 days ago)
Like everything else on earth, it must definitely be men’s fault. So shame on VS for appealing to “the men of the Mad Men’s era”.
Christian Fischer (6 days ago)
Is everyone just going to ignore that we are currently living a second Guilded Age with an ever expanding chasm between the poor and the wealthy? Luxury goods are all on a downwards spiral because YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MIDDLE CLASS PEOPLE TO BUY THESE THINGS!
hep the great (6 days ago)
I buy bras in bulk. It's probably more financial than anything else. I can't afford 1 bra for more than 20 dollars, and as I'm a dd they don't have that. I just buy big sports bras in bulk off amazon for 5 dollars a pop. If I have a fancy date or something I'll break out the fancy bra, otherwise it's black sports bra and black panties (which I also buy bulk)
Fluffymiyster (7 days ago)
I'm a bit of a prude so I've never been big on Vicky's Secret, lol. But I see they likely wouldn't cater to my size anyways...or my wallet. The one thing I'm still trying to wrap my mind around with lingerie is that underwear can cost me more than my outer clothes. A single bra at $50 is two pairs of jeans for me.
Sublime Music Channel (7 days ago)
I'm not against prostitute culture, as it is clearly what Victoria's Secret appears to have based its business model on--as well as the reason the CEO came out to say transgenders are certainly welcome--only to me its extremely revealing (pun intended) how he never bothers to mention fat babes, who probably don't fit (yet another pun intended) the model he imagines can be sold for the highest dollar amount to the average American male prepared to pay Vic/Secret prices for what amounts to little more than a pair of drawers. I mean, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines don't appear to be struggling selling their slender "boy-girls" to visiting (white) American guys, while marketing the "heavy-set" continues NOT to be something they probably think pays the rent for them as a nation. Alas, if only women could be convinced to begin caring about themselves and start REFUSING to think themselves as asses-for-rent. The two aren't the same, imo.
stephanie rando (8 days ago)
It doesn't help that the models have become skinnier and skinnier. Tyra Banks looked hot on the runway and she filled the bras and panties. The newer models looks like bone bags and can't fill out the lingerie.
nlh719 (10 days ago)
Buying pre-designed undergarments confuses me. Especially since I have never seen a woman with identical sized breasts. The right boob is usually bigger.
Men Growing TO Win (10 days ago)
Doesn't matter what women wear any more. Men are walking away. Bye.
gR Z (10 days ago)
VS is most popular with suburban or high school girls. I use to steal so much underwear, swimwear etc from their stores because I couldn’t afford anything😅😂 Glad those days are over and now choose to support ethical, progressive companies with my coin$
x0xtran9x0x (11 days ago)
Quality is trash..yet they act so exclusive
kenzie allen (11 days ago)
L Brands also owns Bath and Body Works
Bridget Washington (11 days ago)
Victoria Secret focuses on the youngster consumers, ages teens through 25. Your business was booming when you targeted 25 and older. These are the career women. Especially, when you sold clothing for all occasions. I think too much money was being invested in the shows and not enough in the actual product. You have pricey tags, but the price doesn't match up with the quality of your brand. This was the time when I really loved your product.
Samuel Cortez (13 days ago)
Thier prices are ridiculous and are made cheap. I only send her when they have good sales.
KM (14 days ago)
Aerie is a million times better— better quality and really cheap with sales. Plus I can actually find my size in stores lol
Yara Vidal (14 days ago)
they polute terribly! We want them to help the environment. The new conscious consumer wants green products, with no monsanto cotton. . All my family and I bought thousands of cloths since de 80´s but we stopped 10 years ago when we noticed the mass production probably wasnt ethic and we were right. Greenpeace and other ONGS gave the facts. Fast fashion: bad quality, no ethics and body shaming.
DC R (15 days ago)
IF YOU SCROLL DOWN NONE OF YOU WOMEN ARE TALKING TO EACH OTHER....... CLASSIC. 😅
Mint Tea (16 days ago)
To sum this up - the quality is complete garbage. Go to a boutique and get you a REAL bra.
Regina George (18 days ago)
the designs are tacky
No More (18 days ago)
Never apologize to leftists! That's a path that leads to destruction.
Phyonnai Grave (19 days ago)
1. Everything is overpriced 2. Cheap brands online and department stores are doing the same thing but better for cheaper 3. Child labor 4. Not inclusive of bodies and gender
WanderLust Endumado (19 days ago)
I feel like 2001 called and they want their bras back....
刘人宇 (21 days ago)
Truth be told, man like slim women for a reason. You can't change the preference of DNA of male, can you?
Sylph S (22 days ago)
Their "show" is so boring!!! Was there ever a moment in which watching women walking and blowing cheese kisses qualified as a show????
Yamin (25 days ago)
GROSSSSS
Terrie Belle (26 days ago)
If I’m going to splurge on lingerie, it’s going to be on fenty. 💅🏻
Aliens and pyramids and shit (27 days ago)
The quality went down, the undies fall apart or ride up your butt. Not comfortable for everyday wear not for that price.. the bras are ok not the cheap polyester ones though. As i got older i hated having sweaters with pink on them i gave them all to my teenage niece.
Josephine Oaks-Courtney (28 days ago)
They still think they're in the '80s & '90s when women were still buying into the lie that they could look like skinny, airbrushed supermodels. (Even VS models don't look like VS models. Read up on what they have to do to get on shape for the show. It's brutal.) Today's message is more about loving your body and being healthy rather than striving for some impossible goal. Their marketing and products need to reflect that and fast. Which I believe they can do while maintaining their VS allure. If not, they're going to find themselves going the way of Contempo Casuals & Chess King!
Shanty Town (29 days ago)
a friend and i stopped by one for his gf during a sale and it was packed af, we headed for the door cause she was taking forever, no place to sit, and i think we were the only 4 balls in the building. Was like black friday walmart packed, kind of pack.
Ms. M (29 days ago)
I am a grown woman. I don't want the word Pink across my ass and chest! Their merchandise used to be something special to wear. It's now expensive poorly made garbage with little choice in design. Bring back glamour for all sizes! The stores had an aire of class and seduction. Now its pushy teens and stores that look like they were hit by a black Friday crowd. Return to class!
JustWhy23 Roman (29 days ago)
One price two most Victoria Secret fans were Men but since you can easily see nearly every womans secret now any way you turn whats the point paying all that money for the show three price
mon mon (1 month ago)
I quit buying when I found out all the models were men!
DC R (15 days ago)
Who I need a laugh?
Lindsey Vickers (1 month ago)
I think that there might also be a drop in fashion show viewings because so many models post videos and photos during the filming of the fashion show that by the time the show actually airs on tv, people have already seen everything and there's no point in watching it, especially when the clips of it are all going to be online the next day. So the stats on viewership might not be a reliable way of measuring how well the company is doing.
Ross Martinez III (1 month ago)
One word: disconnected. Period. They were so desperate they made a Jenner a runway model hoping her Instagram followers would flock to VS. They didn't. Sell your stock. VS is dead in the water.
Sebastian Martinez (1 month ago)
All this stores that don't change for the current generation are gunna dissappear in a few years. I'm sure people my age could care less about a fashion show
Kayla Schregardus (1 month ago)
I havent bought a bra from there in yearrrs after someone recommend Soma for bigger breasted woman. All of the reasons their sales went down I saw it coming. They still promote thin beautiful "angels" while others are promoting bigger sized women, which is great! I think the model image alone is a major reason why women wont shop there, they dont want to support a company that uses a certain image to target their audience when that is not always the case. Times are changing and women want diversity.
sb (1 month ago)
It's over priced for what it is and has the novelty factor that just doesn't work like it used to. I remember in middle school and high school girls would literally tote their stuff around in VS shopping bags at school. Shopping VS was a trendy social status. I work in the school system now and rarely see teens wearing pink apparel.Most girls just want to wear comfy leggings and such and if they are going to spend a lot of money it's on influencer/social backed products like makeup. In general brands don't seem to have the power they used to.
PaviElle Williamson (1 month ago)
Just compete with Nike get rid of all the underwear... go athletic.
Sarah James (1 month ago)
Bras are overpriced and are not good quality so why would I buy.
Duerf (1 month ago)
Men growing up in the 21st century will never understand this but the VS catalogs were a cradle of refuge during my countless, sleepless nights when I was a wee teenage boy.
get rekt (1 month ago)
A lot of prudes in the comments section...
Kelly Naya bosch (1 month ago)
The catwalk is ridiculous and to pay that their prices become ridiculous too. I only like their perfumes but I m tired of their models treated as they were someone special.
Aesthetic Sky’s (1 month ago)
Well their employees are sickening, body shame and they decided to go lazy and cheap products.
Ann Monroe (1 month ago)
family dollar...is way cheaper and have way cuter stuff😉😉😉
Livy Janssens (1 month ago)
I still love VS and continue to buy all of my lingerie from there👌👌
Christen Denise (1 month ago)
Women of today aren't looking for men to buy them lingerie. The comments below nailed it, I've never found their bras comfortable with those tiny little shoulder straps that cut into you. Stuff too expensive..
Black Rose (1 month ago)
*the model walks are iconic but the actual brand is just expensive with not that good of quality*
Alina Small (1 month ago)
Victoria's secret bras are not comfortable and over priced
Elizabeth England (1 month ago)
I still want to be a Victoria secret angle, I’m sorry but it’s my dream I think every single day of my life, I just the feeling of watching especially the VS fashion shows, I know they don’t have Trans, and plus size ect. and yes it is a bit unfair and overrated and they kind label the perfect body however I feel in love with it I don’t want to be anything other then a supermodel anyway when I watch it’s magical the beautiful lingerie they wear. They spend millions and millions of dollars on the runways, the decoration, the people you put blood, sweat and tears into making the beautiful lingerie fitted for the angles and also making money of course but also giving you guys the best experience, anyway it’s a brand they might not be up to date with some things but they can do whatever they want one they might change it a bit in future you never know but that’s there of selling anyways so yeah I do have lots too say however I think I have said enough.
Aquarius Thompson (1 month ago)
Nah they falling and others rising bc if their price, sizes offered and design.
steph baybiie (1 month ago)
The show is failing because we are no longer interested in the 'heroin-chic' models
awk.unicorn (1 month ago)
I wish they have a runway for ugly people
Heather Ziegler (1 month ago)
2 expensive
Natalie Cheng (1 month ago)
their models aren't even slim and busty anymore, their just plain slim, and none of them look any different from each other, body-type wise.. if that's the "victoria's secret fantasy" they're trying to sell, then it sure is a boring one
Adam Romero (1 month ago)
Too little, too late
Sebastian Gruber-Kersting (1 month ago)
You forgot to mention the poor product quality.
kis9009 (1 month ago)
We can be fat and pretty
Mona Lisa (1 month ago)
I don’t care what anyone says. Dump the obese models and go back to early 2000s VS when it was more exclusive and high class. Ignore the feminist. They hate everything and will never be good looking. Get better fabric like before and cut off the dead meat customers that don’t care enough about their bodies to work out. It’s time for VS to be better than the rest of us. Better models, lean and fit, pretty and nice to look at. The other people can shop at Sears. VS doesn’t need all women, just some.
Matt Frazier (1 month ago)
Bottom line is the quality sucks and the majority of women don't like "Angels". Also they had a issue with reselling returned underwear.
Mona Lisa (1 month ago)
Women entered the workforce in the 1980? Um, maybe rich, bored white women, but all the brown women and poor whites women have been working way before that.
It’s_patt _patt (1 month ago)
I applied there once and I was completely discriminated & I have experience and all the qualifications. They hired a high school girl who quit a week later . Aside from their overpriced bras.. they weren’t smart with their hiring process either .
Gail Gunderson (1 month ago)
They send me gift cards for panties, but they don't sell them in XL. Only up to L. THAT'S one of the reasons VS is going under!
Sheila T. (1 month ago)
People found out what Victoria's real secret was.
Luz Aguilar Garcia (1 month ago)
I used to like it when the models were curvy.
Jemal Rankin (1 month ago)
Ok I realize Rhianna wants to sell her product , but your absolutely built like a Victoria Secret model . If you were walking down the runway with wings on there would be no difference at all . I hate when people try to dumb down their beauty by trying to connect with women of a not so fit size . Knock it off .
ucrazy4u (1 month ago)
Plus sizes are in and they need to appeal to all body shapes. I have a big butt I needs XL and can’t find but one or two undies when I shop and they never match the bra. I even need cotton undies and for the center to actually be in the center not in the back. I also want a undies fabric that is snuggling like cotton not so stretchy. Child laborers.... No bueno... That’s not good....
Maritza Hernandez (1 month ago)
There bra and underwear do not last I go to target or Walmart and there last long
Camilo Gomez Keep (1 month ago)
Victoria´s Secret DID NOT launch Bundchen's career. They paid her the biggest amount of money ($25 million USD) becuase she was the hgihest rated model back then. And still is.
Sarah Schouveller (1 month ago)
They made a mistake ending the catalog/clothing and swimwear.
Greeneyestar 27 (1 month ago)
I don’t like how discontinuing items that I love. So I don’t buy from them anymore. I rather choose something comfortable to wear. I’m a single in my late 20’s woman that works full time. My money can go somewhere else.
Michael Allan Divino (1 month ago)
oof can't relate I'm too broke
Tiny Dancer (1 month ago)
Quality went down. Bra sizes that used to fit don’t fit right anymore. I was forced to shop elsewhere because of this. 🤷‍♀️ Very expensive too. And as far as their Pink line, I don’t want Pink written all over the clothes I’m wearing. 🙄 Whether or not the clothes are nice, I won’t buy them for that reason.
Natasha Smith (1 month ago)
Fentyxbeauty put Kylie cosmetics out of business and now fentyxsavage is going to put VS out if business
haid weng (1 month ago)
Why all the white girls from victoria's secret look black?
Blue Fox (1 month ago)
VS’ Quality of their bras and lingeries has gone down, I prefer to buy their lotions and perfumes instead! Their lingerie is mediocre
youknowwhatflav (1 month ago)
Savage fenty !!!
Christina Ludwiczak (1 month ago)
Larger selection in sizes would help them grow
Wtfrwedoing (1 month ago)
Plus whatever they don’t sell, they shed it!! Why not give that to the Women Shelter
Harris Naseem (1 month ago)
VS fashion show tanked cuz they hired some lame looking girls nowadays.
Moses (1 month ago)
Good for the average women this store is going out of business. All they do is elevate unrealistic beauty standards for women and brain washes men to believe every woman should look like that to be hot!!
Mayra Nepita (1 month ago)
Seems like the bras are becoming cheap and still pricey 🤔
Rubertha Blackman (1 month ago)
Poor quality and over priced. Not catering to the average women. I want support and style.
helnynicole (1 month ago)
The bras looks so cheap.
FitThickChic (1 month ago)
I miss their swimwear, clothes, and foil lace bras. I used to spend mad money at Vs. Like most retailers, they don't carry a wide assortment of bra sizes so I buy every day bras from Dillards.
Justine Ager (1 month ago)
Yes , I agree too pricey and uncortable. I bought a bra there once. I was not impressed and didn't go back.
Allyssa Sinkler (1 month ago)
Sales have gone down because they don't actually sell to the size of the majority of women. When u produce for only a niche then your sales will reflect that. Plus all that cheesy pink crap. Smh