Victoria's Secret Asking Dumped Customers: "Take Us Back"

9 years ago

You know the story:older woman gets dumped for younger, sexier woman. Younger sexier woman gets bored and older woman's lover comes hightailing it back, begging to be given a second chance.

So goes the retail plight of Victoria's Secret.

2007 was not a good year for Victoria's Secret. They got dumped.
But then again, 2007 wasn't a good year for most retailers. It's just most retailers aren't blaming it on bad sex.

While Victoria's Secret's declining sales were not out of line with retail industry ---sales at company retail stores dropped 8% last year, it was the reason that the CEO shared with Wall Street Analysts that have gotten folks all hot and bothered.

Victoria's Secret CEO says the retailer has gotten too sexy.That would be code for they dumped their loyal customer for a younger sexier customer who turned around and dumped them.

Writing in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel blog, business writer Doris Hajewski writes that the too sexy excuse is "more interesting than blaming it on the weather."

...Limited's CEO also said she thinks their Victoria's Secret chain may need to be toned down. Here's what she said:

"When you go back in time and look at really how Victoria’s Secret was started and if you, a brand is a story well told and you think about that the Victoria who we used was really manor born, she was from London, very ultra feminine and we’ve so much gotten off of that, of our heritage to things that are much more provocative, too sexy, we use the word sexy a lot and really have forgotten the ultra feminine.

"And our stores reflect that as well, so we are really, I feel so strongly about us getting back to our heritage and really thinking in terms of ultra feminine and not just the word sexy and becoming much more relevant to our customer."

Actually, it's not the current customer that Victoria's Secret is interested in --- it's the customer they rejected for their recent love obsession -- the Lolita customer.

For years, Victoria's Secret had a love fest with women( emphasis on women, not teenage girls) who were interested in silky, sexy negligees. Then,like a bored lover, Victoria's Secret eye began wandering and eventually fell into bed with a younger, hipper, sexier girl.

t was a hot sex-filled affair that they flaunted everywhere --in their store windows, catalogs and those infamous TV fashion shows.

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned and the women that Victoria's Secret turned their back on decided not to stick around and continue watching the love fest with the nubile set. At the time did Victoria care? Was she so filled with lust that she thought her older, loyal customer would stick around while she cavorted with "the other woman"?

Some of the reader comments to Hajewski's blog post.

Too sexy? No, it's too trashy.VS's inventory used to be tasteful. Now it's a bunch of garbage that's geared at 19-year old girls who apparently only wear low-rise sweatpants with baboon-like "pink" written across their crack-exposed tushies.  Come on, now ladies.  I'm no prude but please classy it up a bit, o.k.?  Let's get back to the sexy negligees, slips, nighties, whatever you want to call them.  I can get cotton boxers with matching camisoles at Target; I want Victoria's Secret to return to the silk and satin goodies and naughties, not the cheap college junk they're hawking now.

They've forgotten about feminine 'class'. I've always been a firm believer that it is possible to be 'sexy' without being 'trashy'. A classy, sexy woman does not need to run around with her breasts exposed and her panties protruding from above her pants.

Victoria's Secret's targeted consumer is teen-age girls. I can't help but believe that soon shops will display garter belts and hosiery with "My Kitty" logos on them. I feel lingerie has its place with adults and I personally love wearing sexy lingerie. )As I side note, I BUY sexy lingerie!!) ~

Sarah Gilbert writes about Victoria's Secret desire to return to its roots on Blogging Stocks

With black lacquer and shocking pink decor, the "s" word thrown around like neon signs in a red-light district, and rather unsubtle displays, this isn't my mother's Victoria's Secret.[...]It's not even my Victoria's Secret -- I remember all my friends in high school would save their allowance to afford their girly satin floral underwear and romantic pajamas. Turney plans to change all that, emphasizing seductive over sexy, remodeling and enlarging stores, and "continuing to reinvent" the annual fashion show.

For years, the advertising industry has sold the concept that "sex sells." However, a 2006 research project may have been a forewarning to the eventual outcome of Victoria's Secret walk on the wild side.That study indicates that getting your sexy on is not a recipe for advertising success with women.

The more seductive the model, the more it left the women bored and uninterested, according to lead author Robyn Goodman. The findings seem to contradict the sensual images that saturate the ads in glossy female magazines. "It seems they missed the mark here," said Jon Morris, one of the co-authors. He added that the results also illuminate a gap between the male executives who are marketing the magazines and the consumers.

After analyzing the data, we found that female consumers only saw two types of beauty: wholesome and sexy-sensual," Goodman said.

For instance, Katie Holmes is an example of wholesome while the Victoria's Secret models are sexy-sensual, Goodman said.

So Victoria's Secret will be bringing sexy back --i it will be a toned down wholesome sexy and not the let's do it on top of office desk or in the elevator right this minute kind of sexy.

But, like any woman whose lover has had an affair,chances are the women who Victoria Secret dumped won't be welcoming Victoria back with open arms. It takes time to rebuild trust. And great sales.

So in case you are in a forgiving mood, Victoria's Secret online is having a Clearance Sale--up to 70% off.

Image Credit: jsonline and bloggingstocks.

Elana blogs about business culture at FunnyBusiness

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