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07/26/2021

Victoria’s Secret to Test New Store Concepts

Victoria’s Secret is preparing new store concepts to test the “store of the future” later this fall.
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Victoria's secret

The women’s lingerie brand will test three new locations, one of which will be in an off-mall strip center, according to CNBC. In 2022, Victoria’s Secret plans to test another 10 locations, with the majority of them within off-mall strip centers. The stores will feature improved customer service, a refined staffing model and a “modern and feminine” feel, CNBC reported. The store models also aim to significantly cut costs.

“We can take advantage of the traffic that’s in those clearance and off-mall locations,” Victoria’s Secret CEO Martin Waters said during a virtual presentation. “It’s about a flexible environment where we can move merchandise around based on what’s selling best, and selling less.”

Executive Summary

The new store models come after Victoria’s Secret underwent a number of business changes, including spinning off from parent company L Brands to be its own entity. The brand has been criticized for failing to adapt to trends such as body positivity and size inclusiveness, allowing competitors to make market share gains over the last several years. 

Victoria’s Secret recently embraced a new image, steering the brand away from its iconic Victoria’s Secret Angels in favor of new brand ambassadors, including professional soccer player and equal rights and equal pay activist Megan Rapinoe, skier Eileen Gu, actor Priyanka Chopra Jonas and others.

“We were marketing the brand in a way that, frankly, was tone deaf and starting to become, if not already, culturally irrelevant,” Waters said.

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Exec summary

The new store concepts will aim to feel lighter and more inviting to customers, with the brand doing away with black fixtures that will be replaced with ones with white and wood tones. The brand has also improved its body-shaming past with mannequins in extended sizes. 

While exploring in-store changes, the brand is continuing to sharpen its portfolio. Currently, the brand operates 867, down from 1,143 locations in 2018, according to CNBC. As 26% of its stores are located within A-rated malls, the brand may be feeling sales pressure to break out into other location types, including off-mall strip centers.  

See the full story at CNBC