Victoria’s Secret and its sister brand, Pink, have decided to return to their signature sexiness as a way to boost sales after their recent foray into woke advertising failed to translate into increased profits. In a meeting last week with investors in New York, president Greg Unis stated that the company will be focusing on “sexiness” as its new direction, including expanding its lingerie, swimwear, and activewear lines.
According to Unis, this new focus on “sexiness” will include a more inclusive approach that celebrates the diverse experiences of customers. This will involve increasing the brand’s lingerie and sleepwear offerings, such as slip dresses and corset tops. Martin Waters, the company’s CEO, acknowledged that the company’s recent attempts at inclusivity and diversity, while popular among critics, did not have the desired impact on sales and revenue.
The lingerie giant is hoping that this return to its traditional marketing and product offerings will result in increased earnings. The company expects to reach $6.2 billion in revenue this fiscal year, which is a 5% decrease from the previous year and a 15% decrease from 2020. However, this projection is still far from the $7.5 billion it earned in 2020 in annual sales.
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This change in direction also includes revamping the company’s stores and expanding its global presence by opening 400 new locations outside of the United States and Canada. In August, the brand announced that it would bring back former VS Angels like Candace Swanepoel and Naomi Campbell for their campaigns. This decision was driven by the company’s realization that its previous push towards inclusivity and diversity was not resonating with consumers.
Over the last two years, Victoria’s Secret has made efforts to distance itself from its iconic Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and its sexualized ad campaigns featuring famous VS Angel models like Gisele Bundchen, Heidi Klum, and Adriana Lima. These changes were partly due to criticism and shifting societal attitudes towards the representation of women in media.
While some of the changes, such as including transgender and plus-size models in their campaigns, were applauded by activists, they did not result in increased sales for the company. Victoria’s Secret has learned that its core demographic, who have always been drawn to the brand’s sexy and glamorous image, was not responding well to these changes.
However, the company has reaffirmed its commitment to inclusivity and will continue to feature a diverse range of models in their campaigns. With this new focus on “sexiness” and a renewed emphasis on its signature products, Victoria’s Secret is optimistic about returning to its former financial success.