Victoria's Secret is going through an identity crisis. Its share of female underwear market has dropped to 21% from 32% in 2015. The reason? It has been too slow to get with the times and kept promoting its "angels" (supermodels like Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks), while competitors such as Savage (by Rihanna) positioned themselves as the anti-Victoria's Secret, marketing to more typical women's bodies and focus on inclusivity and diversity.
Victoria's Secret has long sold lingerie in a guise of male fantasy and recently has also been scrutinized for its owner's (Leslie Wexner) relationship with the sex offender, Jeffrey Esptein and revelations about their toxic and misogynistic culture that trafficked in sexism, sizeism and ageism.
It has taken Victoria's Secret a while to realize its outdated marketing and it's on the road of re-invention. It is moving away from the "sexy" only lens and for example, last month introduced a Mother's Day campaign and even features a pregnant model. It is working with new and inclusive partners such as lesbian football star, Megan Rapinoe and Indian actress, Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
Short Squeez Takeaway: Victoria's Secret is a brand that has lost market share to upcoming brands because of its inability to acknowledge the changing world around it. Martin Waters, who was appointed the new CEO in February, remarked: “We needed to stop being about what men want and to be about what women want." Victoria's Secret has long shaped the society's view of female sexuality and beauty ideals but if it is not able to evolve into what consumers want today, it will be sent to the gulag faster than MoviePass.