Victoria’s Secret Planning Image Upgrade to Attract Younger Women

Underwear, bra, lounge, sports and intimate wear maker Victoria’s Secret is attempting to attract younger women as well as entice back former clients through focusing on its core categories like lingerie and apparel.

CEO at Victoria’s Secret Lingerie Jan Singer said this was being accomplished by the company understanding what the needs are of its customers. On Thursday, Singer said it is not about a one size fits all.

L Brands, which is the parent company for Victoria’s Secret, Pink and Bath and Body Works, reported on Wednesday its earnings for the first quarter that were 50% less than the same period one year ago.

Overall sales were up 8% ending the three-month period at $2.62 billion. However, when looking at only Victoria’s Secret sales at same-stores, an important retail metric, a plunge of 14% took place, and the company cut its earnings forecast for 2018. On Wednesday, during afterhours trading shares of L Brands plummeted by 6%.

However, while a conference call on Thursday morning was taking place, the stock made a quick reversal trading higher by close to 2%, as the company outlined its new plan to attract younger women and to increase its sportswear, sleepwear and lounge wear collections.

CEO Singer spoke of the Illusions Collection, which are bras that give non-slip support, on several occasions during the conference call as a very popular offering.

Nevertheless, stock of L Brands, the parent, is down year to date about 40%. This once dominant intimate apparel player, Victoria’s Secret, has steadily been losing its market share the last couple of years with overtly sexy lingerie as well as panties that many females say are turnoffs.

Even its Pink line, at one time a driver of growth for the business, is struggling due to a shift in preferences by the consumer.

One Wall Street analyst said that in his opinion Victoria’s Secret was broken, Pink was breaking and the sustainability of L Brand’s dividend must be questioned.

Consumers have long favored garments that are a mix of athletic and leisure wear that are able to be worn both for lounging as well as exercising, and that category is continuing to be a growth source across the apparel market.

Sales in the U.S. of bralettes, bras that do not have melt cups or wires, were up over 30% in both numbers of units and dollars during the one year period from March of 2017 to February of 2018, said a retail tracking online service.

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