|Founded||Stanford Shopping Center, San Francisco, California, U.S.
(June 12, 1977 )
|Headquarters||Three Limited Parkway, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.|
|Number of locations||1,017 company-owned stores
18 independently owned stores
|Area served||United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico, China and Israel|
|Key people||Lori Greeley
(CEO of Victoria's Secret Stores)
Sharen Jester Turney
(CEO and President of Victoria's Secret Megabrand and Intimate Apparel)
|Products||Underwear, women's clothing, lingerie, swimwear, footwear, fragrances and beauty products|
Victoria's Secret is the largest American retailer of lingerie and was founded by Roy Raymond in 1977. 2012 sales were $6.12 billion. The company sells lingerie, womenswear, and beauty products through its catalogs (sending out 375 million a year), website, and its U.S. stores. Victoria's Secret is wholly owned by publicly traded L Brands company.
- 1 History
- 1.1 1977: Founding
- 1.2 1977–1980: The early years
- 1.3 1982: Sale to The Limited
- 1.4 1983: Strategy change
- 1.5 1983–1990: Expansion into malls
- 1.6 1990–1993: Persistent quality problems
- 1.7 1993–1996: Nichols resolves quality problems
- 1.8 1996: Brand over stretch
- 1.9 Early 2000s: Decelerating growth leads to brand overhaul
- 1.10 2006–2008: Growth
- 2 Products and marketing
- 3 Reception
- 4 Competitors
- 5 Operating divisions
- 6 Corporate affairs
- 7 Controversies
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Eight years prior to founding Victoria's Secret, Raymond was embarrassed when purchasing lingerie for his wife at a department store. Newsweek reported him looking back on the incident from the vantage of 1981: "When I tried to buy lingerie for my wife," he recalls, "I was faced with racks of terry-cloth robes and ugly floral-print nylon nightgowns, and I always had the feeling the department-store saleswomen thought I was an unwelcome intruder."
During the 1970s and 1980s, most women in America purchased "dowdy", "pragmatic", "foundation garments" by Fruit of the Loom, Hanes, and Jockey in packs of three from department stores and saved "fancier items" for "special occasions" like honeymoons. "Lacy thongs and padded push-up bras" were niche products during this period found "alongside feathered boas and provocative pirate costumes at Frederick's of Hollywood" outside of the main stream product offerings available at department stores.
Raymond studied the lingerie market for eight years before borrowing $40,000 from his parents and $40,000 from a bank to establish Victoria's Secret: a store in which men could feel comfortable buying lingerie. The company's first store was located in Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California.
1977–1980: The early years
By 1980, Raymond had added two more San Francisco stores at 2246 Union Street and 115 Wisconsin Street.
By 1982, the fourth store (still in the San Francisco area) was added at 395 Sutter Street. Victoria's Secret stayed at that 395 Sutter Street location until 1991, when it moved to the larger Powell Street frontage of the Westin St. Francis.
The Victoria's Secret stores at this time were "a niche player" in the underwear market. The business was described as "more burlesque than Main Street."
1982: Sale to The Limited
Raymond's philosophy of focusing on selling lingerie to male customers became increasingly unprofitable and Victoria's Secret headed for bankruptcy.
In 1982, it had grown to six stores, a 42-page catalogue, and was grossing $6 million annually. Raymond sold Victoria's Secret Inc. to Leslie Wexner, creator of Limited Stores Inc of Columbus, Ohio, for $1 million. (Though the figure was not disclosed until later.)
1983: Strategy change
In 1983, Leslie Wexner revamped Victoria's Secret. He discarded the money-losing model of selling lingerie to male customers and replaced it with one that focused on women. Victoria's Secret transformed from "more burlesque than Main Street" to a mainstay that sold broadly accepted underwear. The "new colors, patterns and styles that promised sexiness packaged in a tasteful, glamorous way and with the snob appeal of European luxury" were supposed to appeal to and appease female buyers. To further this image, the Victoria's Secret catalog continued the practice that Raymond began: listing the company's headquarters on catalogs at a fake London address, with the real headquarters in Columbus, Ohio. The stores were redesigned to evoke 19th century England.
In 1986, four years after the sale, The New York Times commented, "in an industry where mark-downs have been the norm, the new emphasis is on style and service". The lingerie business was changing fast.
1983–1990: Expansion into malls
Howard Gross took over as president, from his position as vice-president, in 1985.
In October that year, the Los Angeles Times reported that Victoria's Secret was stealing market share from department stores; in 1986, Victoria's Secret was the only national chain of lingerie stores.
In 1987, Victoria's Secret was reportedly among the "best-selling catalogs". In 1990 analysts estimated that sales had quadrupled to $120 in four years, making it one of the fastest growing mail-order businesses.
The New York Times described it as a "highly visible leader", saying it used "unabashedly sexy high-fashion photography to sell middle-priced underwear."
Victoria's Secret also released their own line of fragrances in 1991.
1990–1993: Persistent quality problems
By the early 1990s, Victoria's Secret faced a gap in management that led to the "once hot lingerie chain" to be "plagued by persistent quality problems". Howard Gross, who had grown the company into a "lingerie empire" since Wexner's 1982 purchase, was moved to poorly performing L Brands subsidiary Limited Stores. Business Week reported that "both divisions have suffered".
1993–1996: Nichols resolves quality problems
Victoria's Secret introduced the Miracle Bra selling two million within the first year; but faced competition from Sara Lee's WonderBra a year later. The company responded to their rival with a TV campaign.
1996: Brand over stretch
In 1999, the company aimed to increase its coverage with Body by Victoria.
Early 2000s: Decelerating growth leads to brand overhaul
In May 2000, Wexner installed Sharen Jester Turney, previously of Neiman Marcus Direct, as the new chief executive of Victoria's Secret Direct to turn around catalog sales that were lagging behind other divisions. Forbes reported Turney articulating, as she flipped through a Victoria's Secret catalog, "We need to quit focusing on all that cleavage."
In 2000, Turney began to redefine Victoria's Secret catalog from "breasts—spilling over the tops of black, purple and reptile-print underthings" to one that would appeal to an "upscale customer who now feels more comfortable buying La Perla or Wolford lingerie."; "dimming the hooker looks" such as "tight jeans and stilettos"; and moving from "a substitute for Playboy in some dorm rooms," to something closer to a Vogue lifestyle layout, where lingerie, sleepwear, clothes and cosmetics appear throughout the catalog.
Beginning in 2000, Grace Nichols, CEO of Victoria's Secret Direct, led a similar change at Victoria's Secret's stores - moving away from an evocation of 1800s England (or a Victorian bordello).
By 2006, Victoria's Secret's 1,000 stores across the United States accounted for one third of all purchases in the intimate apparel industry.
In May 2006, Wexner promoted Sharen Jester Turney from the Victoria's Secret catalog and online units to lead the whole company. In 2008, she acknowledged "product quality that doesn't equal the brand's hype".
Products and marketing
In 1989, FCB/Leber Katz Partners and Victoria's Secret executed a national advertising campaign featuring for the first time in the company history a ten page glossy insert that appeared in the November issues of Elle, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Victoria, House Beautiful, Bon Appetit, New Woman, and People magazines. Victoria's Secret used the insert to announced their expansion into the toiletries and fragrance business. Up through to the ten page insert, Victoria's Secret growth had been driven by their catalog, sporadic ads in fashion publications, and word of mouth.
On October 16, 2002, Victoria's Secret announced the launch of Pink, a new lingerie line targeted to 15-to-22 year olds. The strategy driving Victoria's Secret's launch of Pink is to introduce the teenage girls to Victoria's Secret stores. Pink sells underwear, sleepwear, loungewear, beauty products, and accessories, with the intent to transition buyers into more adult product lines, such as Angels, Very Sexy, and Body by Victoria.
Pink's competition in the lingerie market for the 15–22 year old demographic includes Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters' Aerie. Pink's pajamas and sweat pants were popular within the teenage and preteen set from 2006. In 2009, Pink established its first four stand-alone stores in Canada. In 2010, sales at PINK reached $1 billion.
Pink has a college line that focuses brand recognition through public university athletics. Promotions for the line come from college tours, tie-ins with the music channel MTV, and social media such as Facebook and MySpace. In 2011, the line announced a partnership with all 32 NFL teams and began selling apparel containing NFL team logos and names. The partnership is part of a marketing strategy for the NFL to market to teenage girls and college-aged women.
In March 2013, the company mounted a marketing campaign for sexy underwear titled "Bright Young Things" directed at teen and pre-teen girls that drew considerable negative attention. The underwear contained wording including "call me", "feeling lucky", and "wild". The company was accused of "sexualising" teenage girls. When the ad campaign was launched, Victoria's Secret chief financial officer Stuart Burgdoerfer said that the line of underwear allowed "15 or 16 years old... to be older, and they want to be cool like the girl in college". After the criticism increased, Victoria's Secret removed the items from the company's website and said that the ad campaign was meant for college-age women.
In 2002, swimwear was introduced and available via the web site and catalog; in the last three years, the swimwear has become more readily available in stores.
Recent product history
In 2010, Victoria's Secret launched the Incredible bra.
In 2012, Victoria's Secret launched the The Victoria's Secret Designer Collection described by Vogue as the company's "first high end lingerie line."
Over the course of Victoria's Secret's evolution, the company "has gone from being value-driven to creating a luxury-shopping experience and an aura of fashion associated with its product" which has been driven by marketing.
The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is an annual "elaborate marketing tool for Limited Brands". The show is a mix of "beautiful models scantily clad in lingerie" and A-list entertainers "And every year, it becomes less about fashion and more about show".
The company gained notoriety in the early 1990s after it began to use supermodels in its advertising and fashion shows. Throughout the 2000s, Victoria's Secret has turned down celebrity models and endorsements.
In 1999, Victoria's Secret's 30 second Super Bowl advertisement led to one million visits to the company's website within an hour of airing.
In 2004, Victoria's Secret featured Bob Dylan in an advertisement to test new marketing possibilities while Victoria's Secret dropped their fashion show for 2004 as a result of the fallout from the Janet Jackson/Super Bowl incident that caused complaints from women's groups.
The brand turned to social networking in 2009, opening an official Facebook page and later on official Twitter and Pinterest accounts. It also expanded its website to feature behind-the-scenes content about its catalog and commercial shoots, as well as its fashion show.
Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
Beginning in 1995, Victoria's Secret began holding their annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, which is broadcast on primetime American television. Starting with the 1995 fashion show they are "a combination of self-assured strutting for women and voyeuristic pleasures for men—and lingerie becomes mainstream entertainment."
Ken Weil, vice president at Victoria's Secret, and Tim Plzak, responsible for IT at Victoria's Secret's parent company Intimate Brands, led Victoria's Secret's first ever online streaming of their fashion show in 1999. The 18 minutes webcast streamed February 2, 1999, was at the time the Internet's "biggest event" since inception. The 1999 webcast was reported as a failure by a number of newspapers on account of some user's inability to watch the show featuring Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, and Stephanie Seymour as a result of Victoria's Secret's technology falling short being able to meet the online user demand resulting in network congestion and users who could see the webcast receiving jerky frames. In all, the company's website saw over 1.5 million visits while the Broadcast.com's computer's were designed to handle between 250,000 and 500,000 simultaneous viewers. In total, 1.5 million viewers either attempted or viewed the webcast.
The 1999 webcast served to create a database for Victoria's Secret of over 500,000 current and potential customers by requiring users to submit their contact details to view the webcast. The next spring Victoria's Secret avoided technical issues by partnering with Broadcast.com, America Online and Microsoft. The 2000 webcast attracted more than two million viewers.
By 2011, the budget for the fashion show was $12 million up from the first show's budget of $120,000.
Victoria's Secret Angels
Angels is one of Victoria's Secret's lingerie lines, which was launched in 1997, with a commercial featuring Helena Christensen, Karen Mulder, Daniela Peštová, Stephanie Seymour, and Tyra Banks as well as rockstar Tom Jones., The commercial was a major success and the Angels began to be featured in various commercials, alongside other contract models for the brand such as Yasmeen Ghauri, Inés Rivero and Laetitia Casta. In February 1998, the Angels made their runway debut at Victoria's Secret's 4th annual fashion show, with Chandra North filling in for Christensen.
Seymour, Mulder, Pestova, Banks, Casta and Heidi Klum were all featured in both of Victoria's Secret webcast and took part in the promotion as the brand's contract models. Starting in 2001, the show has been televised and usually features the year's Angel line-up at the start of the show, starting with Pestova, Banks, Klum and Gisele Bundchen[nb 1]. In 2004 due the Superbowl controversy, instead of a televised show, Victoria's Secret sent its 5 contract models (Banks, Klum, Bundchen, Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio) on a tour called Angels Across America, as by then, the word had become synonymous with Victoria's Secret spokesmodels. The last original Angel, Tyra Banks, departed the following year, as Karolina Kurkova, Selita Ebanks and Izabel Goulart were hired.
Among other recognitions, the Victoria's Secret Angels were chosen to be part of People magazine's annual "100 Most Beautiful People in the World" issue in 2007 and became the first trademark awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 13, 2007, with Klum, Lima, Ambrosio, Kurkova, Goulart, Ebanks, Marisa Miller and Miranda Kerr at hand. Alongside Doutzen Kroes, they also took part in the grand reopening of the Fontainebleau in Miami in 2008. In 2009, it was widely reported that Candice Swanepoel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Chanel Iman, Emanuela de Paula and Lindsay Ellingson had been hired by the brand. However, De Paula was absent from the fashion show and Erin Heatherton was credited in her place, alongside the Angels (Klum, Ambrosio, Kerr, Miller, Kroes and Behati Prinsloo, with Lima being on maternity leave). The brand also held a nationwide competition to hire a new "runway Angel" (as are dubbed all the models who walk in the show), Kylie Bisutti was crowned as the winner but soon parted ways with the brand. In 2013, the brand launched a short-lived Facebook application in 2013-2014 highlighting the Angels (then including Lima, Ambrosio, Kerr, Kroes, Prinsloo, Swanepoel, Heatherton, Ellingson, Lily Aldridge, who joined in 2010, and Karlie Kloss) as well as Lais Ribeiro, Toni Garrn and Barbara Palvin.
The brand currently lists 8 supermodels on its website: Lima, Ambrosio, Kroes, Prinsloo, Swanepoel, Ellingson, Aldridge and Kloss. However, Ellingson's contract was not renewed, while Kroes indicated that she will probably not renew her contract. The newest addition to the ranks is slated to be current PINK spokesmodel Elsa Hosk.
Other notable spokesmodels for the brand have included: Claudia Schiffer, Eva Herzigová, Oluchi Onweagba, Jessica Stam, Ana Beatriz Barros, and Martha Hunt, as well as a handful of celebrities such as Taylor Momsen.
|United States||Stephanie Seymour||1997–2000||1990||1995–2000||[nb 3]|
|Czech Republic||Daniela Peštová||1997–2002||1996||1998–2001|
|United States||Tyra Banks||1997–2005||1996||1996–2005|
|United States||Chandra North||1998 (replacement Angel)||1998||1998||[nb 4]|
|Germany/ USA||Heidi Klum||1999–2010||1997||1997–2009 (host only in 2006)||[nb 5]|
|Brazil/ Serbia||Adriana Lima||2000–present||1999||1999–2008, 2010–present|
|Czech Republic||Karolína Kurková||2005–2008||2000||2000–2008, 2010|
|Cayman Islands||Selita Ebanks||2005–2009||2004||2005–2010|
|United States||Marisa Miller||2007–2010||2002||2007–2009|
|Australia||Miranda Kerr||2007–2013||2005||2006–2009, 2011–2012|
|Netherlands||Doutzen Kroes||2008–present||2004||2005–2006, 2008–2009, 2011–2014|
|United Kingdom||Rosie Huntington-Whiteley||2010–2011||2005||2006–2010|
|South Africa||Candice Swanepoel||2010–present||2007||2007–present|
|United States||Chanel Iman||2010–2012||2008||2009–2011|
|United States||Erin Heatherton||2010–2013||2008||2008–2013|
|United States||Lily Aldridge||2010–present||2008||2009–present|
|United States||Lindsay Ellingson||2011–2014||2006||2007–present||[nb 6]|
|United States||Karlie Kloss||2013–present||2011||2011–present|
- There have been various instances where the fashion show credits included models who weren't Angels but were prominently featured by the brand, such as Selita Ebanks and Izabel Goulart in 2005, Candice Swanepoel, Lindsay Ellingson, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Erin Heatherton and Behati Prinsloo in 2009 who all went on to become Angels as well as Lais Ribeiro in 2011, PINK model Elsa Hosk in 2013 and Hosk, Ribeiro, Jasmine Tookes, Martha Hunt and Stella Maxwell in 2014.
- Most Angels started working with the company years prior to signing an Angel contract. Listed above are the dates of first published or aired campaigns or, by default, first runway show or event.
- Stephanie Seymour was a Fashion Show host in 1995
- Chandra North was featured as an Angel solely during the 1998 fashion show due to Christensen's absence
- Heidi Klum was a Fashion Show host in 2002, 2006–2009
- Lindsay Ellingson was first featured on VS All Access in 2010 but was only credited as an Angel for the fashion show from the following year onward.
Other models, such as Jessica Stam and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, as well as numerous celebrities (including Ashlee Simpson) have appeared at events for the brand, such as its Spring Break concerts.
Victoria's Secret is known for its catalogs and its annual fashion show, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, and has been credited with single-handedly transforming "America's conception of lingerie" by pioneering "sexy underwear as fashion" and "lingerie mainstream entertainment." The societal manifestation is "the increased cultural acceptance of shopping for undies" in the United States.
Victoria's Secret is credited with "transforming lingerie from a slightly embarrassing taboo into an accessible, even routine accessory." In 2006 The New York Times reported that traditional fashion was influenced by intimate apparel "in part because of the influence of Victoria's Secret – and ubiquitous, sexually charged come-hither marketing."
In 2008 Women's Wear Daily reported that while "Victoria's Secret dominates" in the lingerie market "the competition is intensifying".
American Eagle also launched a direct competitor to Victoria's Secret, the underwear line Aerie, which is currently their biggest competitor within the younger customers.
Victoria Secret's operations are organized into three divisions: Victoria's Secret Stores (stores), Victoria's Secret Direct (online and catalog operations), and Victoria's Secret Beauty (their bath and cosmetics line). The company does business in the following retail formats: general merchandise stores, apparel stores.
Victoria's Secret stores
|Victoria's Secret stores 1982–2012|
|Year||# of stores||Store sales in millions of U.S. dollars|
Throughout the 1980s Victoria's Secret took over the market using "faux-British veneer, romantic styling and soft classical music." In 2000 the Los Angeles Times reported that Victoria's Secret continued the practice of putting "on a British air—or what the Ohio-based chain thinks Americans believe is British. Boudoirish. Tony. Upscale."
During the 1990s Victoria's Secret saw a 30% increase in store sales after the use of analyzing in their data warehouse in which specific store the styles, sizes and color of which bras were selling.
As of 2010 there are 1,000 Victoria's Secret lingerie stores and 100 independent Victoria's Secret Beauty Stores in the US, mostly in shopping centers. They sell a range of brassieres, panties, hosiery, cosmetics, sleepwear, and other products. Victoria's Secret mails more than 400 million of its catalogs per year.
During the 1990s store sizes grew from the average 1,400 square feet to between 4,000 and 5,000 square feet. By 1989 50 stores had been updated to reflect "an English feel". In 2002 the average Victoria's Secret store was 6,000 square feet.
|Victoria's Secret Canada stores 2011–2012|
|Year||# of stores||Store sales in millions of U.S. dollars|
Up until the early 2000 management at Victoria's Secret actively decided to not expand outside the United States. The drive to continue growing coupled with facing a maturing of the American retail market led to a change in that decision and to expand Victoria's Secret outside the United States. Victoria's Secret announced the company's plan to expand into Canada in 2010. The company opened 23 stores stores in Canada with locations in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
In November 2005, the company opened its first boutique in the UK at Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5 with the help of World Duty Free. This was followed in 2009 with several Victoria's Secret Travel and Tourism stores residing within airports outside the United States. These include locations in Schiphol International Airport, The Netherlands.
Victoria's Secret opened their first store located at the Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford, London on July 24, 2012. Their flagship 40,386 square-foot store on New Bond Street, London opened on August 29, 2012, and there will be further nationwide expansion across the UK. Victoria's Secret executive vice president and chief administrative officer Martyn R Redgrave told Women's Wear Daily "That's what we're looking to do as we expand, in the U.K. in particular, and those will be company-owned and operated". Through 2013 and 2014 stores opened across the UK , in Leeds , Manchester , Sheffield, Birmingham and stores in Westfield London , Bluewater and Brent Cross across London.
In 2010 Victoria Secret's expanded with franchises internationally.
The first franchise store in Latin America opened in Isla Margarita, Venezuela on June 25, 2010 followed by other stores in the country, and in Bogota, Colombia, in July 2012 selling beauty products and accessories. Angel's Group, the Colombian company operating the franchise, is planning to open 10 stores in Colombia. Victoria's Secret is also planning on opening a store in the exclusive Multiplaza Mall in San Salvador, El Salvador.
In 2010 M.H. Alshaya Co. opened the first Victoria's Secret store in the Middle East region in Kuwait. M.H. Alshaya Co. operates the Victoria's Secret franchise located in the Marina Mall selling products including "cosmetic and branded accessories, but it has left out the brand's infamous lingerie line".
The Brand's first Caribbean store opened in November 2011 at Plaza Las Americas in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Two stores also opened in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic at the Agora, (mainly selling beauty products and accessories) and Sambil Santo Domingo malls in August 2012 and October 2012, respectively.
The first Polish store is opening its doors in July 2012 at Złote Tarasy in Warsaw and will be operated by M.H. Alshaya Co. New Victoria's Secrets shop open in July 24, 2012. This will be the first Victoria's Secret franchise store in Europe, just a day before the new store in the United Kingdom. However, as this is a franchise store it sells just beauty and accessories, whereas the London stores are the first company owned European stores and sell Victoria's Secret clothing.
Victoria's Secret Direct
|Victoria's Secret catalog 1982–2012|
|Year||Millions mailed||Sales in millions of U.S. dollars|
Prior to the emergence of e-commerce, the Victoria's Secret's catalogs provided both an informative and exciting experience in the comfort of the consumer's home.
The catalog under Raymond's leadership took the form of an upmarket version of Frederick's of Hollywood lingerie catalog being more sensuous than the catalog published under the future leadership of The Limited. In 1982 the Victoria's Secret catalog cost $3.
The New York Times reported that the Victoria's Secret's financial success catalogues' influenced other catalogues who changed to present lingerie as "romantic and sensual but tasteful" "in which models are photographed in ladylike poses against elegant backgrounds."
This led to Victoria's Secret dominating the catalog field for "lingerie and sexy nightwear." The catalogs allowed for consumers to review the entire spectrum of product offerings, along the axes of style, color and fabric. Victoria's Secret accepted catalog orders via telephone 24 hours a day.
Catalog mailing rose for twenty years from 1978 peaking at 400 million mailings annually in 1998. From 1998 through to 2002 mailings declined to 350 million annually.
Victoria's Secret's catalog offers a more diverse range of merchandise.
The Los Angeles Times described the catalog in 2000 as having achieved "an almost cult-like following."
In 1995 Victoria's Secret began building its e-commerce website which the company launched after three years of development at 6 p.m. December 4, 1998, using the domain VictoriasSecret.com. Twenty minutes later the first order was placed on the website from a Littleton, Colorado, customer at 6:20 p.m.
It was reported that the three year development was a result of the company's concern of rolling out a half-baked website that could "discourage return visits".
Viewers who logged onto the Victoria's Secret's website to view the company's first webcast of their fashion show on February 3, 1999, were unable to view the webcast due to the Internet infrastructure Victoria Secret's selected was unable to meet user demand causing some users to be unable to view the webcast.
A decade later in 2008 Victoria's Secret launched their website in Spanish.
Launch of VS All Access website.
Victoria's Secret Beauty
The Limited, Inc in 1998 creates Intimate Beauty Corporation with a mandate to establish a group of beauty businesses with Victoria's Secret Beauty being the first company in the firm's portfolio.
In November 2012 Susie Coulter became president of Victoria's Secret Beauty; the company's beauty division located in New York City
Prior to the 1982 sale the company's business name was Victoria's Secret, Inc. then afterwards the name was changed to Victoria's Secret Stores, Inc. In 2005 the company changed to Victoria's Secret Stores, LLC.
Victoria's Secret was originally owned by "The Limited". In 2002 Wexner reincorporated Victoria's Secret into the Limited; previously Victoria's Secret's parent company was Intimate Brands, a separately traded entity whose President was Ed Razek.
By 2006, 72% of Limited Brands' revenue—and almost all of their profits—came from their Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works units.
On July 10, 2007, the Victoria's Secret parent company, Limited Brands, sold a 75% interest in their apparel brands, Limited Stores and Express to Sun Capital Partners, to focus on expanding their Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works units. The immediate impact of the sale resulted in Limited Brands taking a $42 million after-tax loss.
Victoria's Secret stores
In 1985, Howard Gross was promoted to president from vice president. In 1991 Grace Nichols replaced Gross as president of Victoria's Secret Stores. Nichols previously had been "executive vice president and general merchandise manager of Limited's lingerie division."
Victoria's Secret Direct
Victoria's Secret Beauty
In May 2006, Christine Beauchamp was named president and CEO of Victoria's Secret Beauty. Beauchamp was succeeded by Shashi Batra in 2009, who became president of Victoria's Secret Beauty.
Robin Burns was CEO of Victoria's Secret Beauty.
After two years of pressure from environmentalist groups, Victoria's Secret's parent firm and a conservation group reached an agreement to make the lingerie retailer's catalog more environmentally friendly in 2006. The catalog would no longer be made of pulp supplied from any woodland caribou habitat range in Canada, unless it has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The catalogs will also be made of 10 percent recycled paper.
In 2006 it was reported that Victoria's Secret paid workers $7 per day to make bras for them in Thai factories.
One-tenth of all Victoria's Secret's brassieres are sourced via Intimate Fashions, a manufacturer with factories in the South Indian city of Guduvanchery.
- 2012 - A Victoria's Secret supplier was investigated for use of child labor in harvesting cotton used to make its products.
- 2012 - Sued by Zephyrs; "has been accused of breaching a 2001 agreement and selling cheap 'knockoffs' of the company's stockings."
- 2012 - Drew criticism for a newly released lingerie collection titled "Go East" whose tagline pledged to women the capacity to "indulge in touches of eastern delight with lingerie inspired by the exquisite beauty of secret Japanese gardens." The collection included a mesh teddy "Sexy Little Geisha" featuring "flirty cutouts and Eastern-inspired florals". The WSJ reported that the collection was "accessorized with a miniature fan and a kimono-esque obi sash." Victoria's Secret removed the Asian-themed collection "that traded in sexualized, generic pan-Asian ethnic stereotypes."
- 2013~2014- Despite being an American company, Victoria's Secret has never from 1995 to the present designated a person of full East Asian descent as an Angel. Victoria's Secret has hired models from foreign countries like Brazil, Namibia, South Africa, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Argentina, France, Australia, England, and the Cayman Islands. But even the models hired from Namibia and South Africa were Caucasians, and Victoria's Secret has neglected to hire a single supermodel from an Asian country as an Angel. Influential Italian casting agent Barbara Nicoli publicly stated that this is because Asian bodies are not sexy, curvy, or beautiful enough. In sum, of the 27 VS Angels chosen over 17–19 years, only five were mixed or black, with the global brand Victoria's Secret going out of its way to only hire Caucasians and White Hispanics as its primary spokesmodels. This trend does not change much on the runway; in 2013 a VS show with 40 models only had 7 black models and 3 Asian models, which was criticized as not being representative of global populations. Victoria's Secret has despite its staying power in the American and global fashion landscape, has failed to take advantage of what Grace Paley once called "New York's gorgeous chromatic dispersion".
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