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Victoria’s Secret is bringing sexy back.
The US lingerie chain said it would focus on expanding its swim, sports and clothing offerings after suffering a decline in sales over the past two years following its feminist makeover.
The company launched a rebrand two years ago to promote inclusivity. It starred lesbian soccer star Megan Rapinoe, transgender model Valentina Sampaio and other spokesmodels.
Reviews were positive at the time, but that didn’t translate into increased sales.
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Victoria’s Secret forecasts sales of $6.2 billion this year, down 5% from 2022 and well below 2020’s $7.5 billion.
At a presentation to investors in New York last week, the company said it would shift gears to boost sales.
“Sexiness can be inclusive,” said Greg Unis, brand president of Victoria’s Secret and Pink. according to CNN editorial partners Fashion business. “Sexiness can celebrate the diverse experiences of our customers and that’s what we focus on.”
The financial strain caused by body-positive marketing has forced the fashion chain to resume its runway shows, where it will combine sexiness with more inclusive initiatives.
Hailey Bieber and Emily Ratajkowski have appeared in recent campaigns alongside plus-size models Paloma Elsesser and Ali Tate-Cutler.
“Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, it was not enough to achieve victory,” said CEO Martin Waters.
The company said it would modernize its nearly 1,400 Victoria’s Secret and Pink stores and open 400 new locations outside North America while cutting costs.
In recent years, Victoria’s Secret has had to compete with online-only retailers as well as brands aimed at younger consumers, such as Aerie, Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty and Kim Kardashian’s Skims shapewear line.
However, the company says it is still the North American leader in underwear sales with a market share of around 20%.
“We have not differentiated ourselves adequately in this difficult market,” Waters said. “(But) our goal of being the world’s leading fashion lingerie retailer remains unchanged.”