Victoria Secret Brand shift

Victoria Secret Brand shift - May 20, 2002 MEDIA &...

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May 20, 2002 Is Less Risque Risky For Victoria's Secret? By SARAH ELLISON Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL In a busy Victoria's Secret store in New York's SoHo, Amanda White, 27, picks up a matching set of leopard-print bra and undies, a black negligee, a turquoise lace bra and three simple cotton bras, in pale blue, white and yellow. After about a half-hour in the fitting rooms, she walks out of the store carrying three items: the simple cotton bras. "My boyfriend won't love these, but I need something I can wear everyday," she says. Victoria's Secret has more bad news for Ms. White's boyfriend. The chain, which built its image as a sexy-lingerie retailer with expensive ad campaigns featuring famous models, wants to include more basic, less-expensive styles of lingerie. American women seem to prefer them. The move carries risks, but has a clear business logic: A large majority of the bras sold at Victoria's Secret fall into the so-called glamour category with lace or push-up features. But between 70% to 80% of the total bra market in the U.S. still consists of what some women call "workhorse" bras: simple styles that are comfortable and durable, analysts say. Victoria's Secret, a unit of Limited Inc., Columbus, Ohio wants a larger "share of drawer" in their customers' dressers, and hopes to grab a good chunk of the everyday market currently dominated by other lingerie players such as Sara Lee Corp.'s Hanes Her Way and Bali and VF Corp.'s Vanity Fair and Lily of France. The company also faces new pressure from retailers such as Gap Inc. and J. Crew, who have their own lingerie lines. "Competition is everywhere," says Richard Jaffe, analyst with UBS Warburg in New York. Same-store sales-growth rates have slowed in recent years for Victoria's Secret as it has reached
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Victoria Secret Brand shift - May 20, 2002 MEDIA &...

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