New figures show that shoppers are fast losing interest in Victoria’s Secret.
The lingerie giant is currently struggling to sell even heavily discounted items, with last month’s sales down 1.1 per cent year-on-year. The loss was offset by a rise in its beauty category, but Jefferies analyst Randal Konik said that it was “game over” for the underwear label, adding that company is seeing “massive traffic declines, zero pricing power and market share losses mounting”.
Fashion conglomerate L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret, confirmed that the summer sale hadn’t started well. “Semi-annual sale had a soft start with negative traffic level,” said Amie Preston, chief investor relations officer for L Brands Inc.
In an attempt to clear inventory, the label extended the sale by two weeks and dropped prices which resulted in a decrease in margin rates. Although the dip in interest is based on a singular month of slow sales, it could be indicative of a bigger problem for the lingerie label, which has been accused of being anti-feminist and anti-inclusive. Its annual catwalk shows have been criticised for not featuring women of varying body shapes and for promoting an archaic, unrealistic version of what a woman should look like.
According to the Business of Fashion, the brand has been masking its mainline sales decline with the success of its Pink line, but growth has now slowed down in that category too. Konik said Victoria’s Secret may well have lost its market to American Eagle’s sub-brand, Aerie, aimed at a US 15-25 demographic.
The lingerie brand has been praised for its inclusive, upbeat ad campaigns, which feature young women of different ethnicities and sizes, as well as celebrating women with disabilities and physical illnesses. The images are also not retouched.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.