Victoria’s Secret leaves the mall – RetailWire
Jul 20, 2021
Victoria’s Secret, which is trying to reposition its business as it moves towards a split from L Brands, has reaffirmed its intention to move its new stores to stand-alone locations and away from the malls that have traditionally been its home.
CNBC reports that at a virtual investor conference yesterday, CEO Martin Waters said the chain plans to test its “store of the future” in three locations this fall. Victoria’s Secret will open one of three at an unspecified strip center. It also plans to launch 10 more non-mall test stores by the end of next year.
The new stores will sport a new look for the chain, which last month launched her VC Ambassador campaign featuring a wide variety of role models as a way to get away from her longtime campaign of Angels. The latter had been criticized in recent years for presenting a supersexualized image as represented by models parading the runway at the annual fashion show organized by Victoria’s Secret. The new imagery is being brought to stores with mannequins, for example, displaying lingerie in various sizes and shapes.
Mr. Waters, according to CNBC, said the chain’s new stores will seek to improve customer service levels in a more modern and inclusive store environment.
One of the potential benefits of moving Victoria’s Secret to non-mall locations may be the impact it has on its ability to expand its Online Shopping, In-Store Pickup (BOPIS) service as well as execute commands from its physical locations.
Andrew Meslow, CEO of L Brands and Bath & Body Works, said in May about the company’s first quarter earnings call that locations outside of malls had better BOPIS and in-store order fulfillment results than those inside malls. Speaking for Bath & Body Works, he said the channel would be ” taking into account how the stores are designed in order to adapt BOPIS and shipping capacities from the store even better in the future. It is reasonable to infer that the same would be true of Victoria’s Secret.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What changes to store design, operations and other areas do you think Victoria’s Secret needs to make to be successful in the future? Is the chain moving fast enough to meet current challenges and opportunities?
“Finally, Victoria’s Secret is starting to make the changes necessary to turn the business around!”