Dear Victoria’s Secret: Here’s how to recover from your death spiral
The downward spiral of Victoria’s Secret continued today with another dismal earnings report, this time showing same-store sales were down 12% over the holiday season. L Brands, the company’s corporate parent, has seen its stock plunge 32% over the past year.
In a way, this is mystifying: Victoria’s Secret sells cute lingerie! It has executed A+ brand awareness, a strong brick-and-mortar presence, and sharp online retailing! The problem is it continues to display its lovely lingerie exclusively on lily-white waifs who appear underage, and release a catalog that is widely known as masturbatory material for men attracted to jail bait. Millennial and Gen Z women think this is repulsive. (Because it’s repulsive.)
As dire as things seem for Victoria’s Secret, we still think the brand could be salvageable with a few changes:
If nothing else, these efforts will clear the way for the “for her, by her” concept (good!) pitched by Victoria’s Secret CEO John Mehas in September. The goal is to empower women, not display women. Different!
Memo to VS: If you prefer visuals—and we know you do—just consult your corporate governance page. See that? The giant photo of eight mostly naked high school girls, above eight male executives’ names? That. Fix that. You can do it.