Last week, we covered how Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, L Brands, saw a major drop in sales in June. This came as a surprise, since it coincided with the brand’s big summer discounts. It’s just the latest sign of trouble for Victoria’s Secret, which has seen declining sales for years now. Some analysts saw this as the final nail in Victoria’s Secret’s coffin.
“It’s game over,” Jeffries analyst Randal Konik told Bloomberg, pointing to declines in traffic, pricing power, and market share. Konik also said that he thought investors were ignoring these obvious warning signs and choosing to believe Victoria’s Secret is still a great brand.
For a long time, Victoria’s Secret teen collection, Pink, was a bright spot. But Konik believes that Pink has now been eclipsed by other teen brands that are reaching customers better, like American Eagles’s Aerie brand, which has outperformed Victoria’s Secret sales for the last 16 quarters.
When I’ve written about Victoria’s Secret’s woes in the past, I’d suggested that the over-sexualized marketing wasn’t resonating with women in the post-#MeToo moment. But many Fast Company readers have been quick to disagree, pointing out that the real story is that the brand’s quality has dropped tremendously over the last few years. Consumers who had turned to Victoria’s Secret as a reliable source of high-quality bras and panties, say they are sorely disappointed by how quickly the garments fall apart, despite the fact that the brand still charges a premium price for them.
Whatever the underlying reason, Victoria’s Secret may be in deep trouble. And many other startups that we write about frequently–from Thirdlove to Lively to Evelyn & Bobbie–are working hard to steal market share from this once dominant lingerie leviathan.