July 20, 2021
Victoria’s Secret, which is trying to reposition its business on its way to a spin-off from L Brands, has reformulated its plans to move its new stores to standalone locations and away from the malls that have traditionally been its home.
CNBC reports that CEO Martin Waters said at a virtual investor conference yesterday that the chain was planning to test its “store of the future” at three locations this fall. Victoria’s Secret will open one of the three in an unspecified strip center. There are also plans to open ten more test stores outside of the mall by the end of next year.
The new stores will be wearing a new look for the chain this past month started his VC ambassador campaign with a variety of role models to turn away from his longstanding Angels campaign. The latter had been criticized in recent years for displaying an oversexualized image, as portrayed by the supermodels who walked the catwalk at Victoria’s Secret’s annual fashion show. The new imagery is brought into the shops, for example, with mannequins showing lingerie in different sizes and shapes.
Mr. Waters, after CNBC, said the chain’s new stores will seek to improve customer service in a more modern and inclusive business environment.
One of the potential benefits of moving Victoria’s Secret to locations outside the mall could be the ability to expand its online purchase and collection service (BOPIS) as well as fulfill orders from its physical locations.
Andrew Meslow, CEO of L Brands and Bath & Body Works, said in May the company’s first quarter corporation Call for Merit that locations outside of malls had better results in terms of BOPIS and fulfillment of stores than those located inside malls. Speaking to Bath & Body Works, he said that the chain “be” taking into account the design of stores in order to accommodate the BOPIS and ship-from-store capabilities even better ”. It is reasonable to assume that the same would apply to Victoria’s Secret.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What changes do you think Victoria’s Secret needs to make to store design, operations and other areas in order to be successful in the future? Is the chain fast enough to handle the current challenges and opportunities?
“Victoria’s Secret is finally starting to make the changes it needs to turn the business around!”