Victoria’s Secret still hasn’t figured out that women are getting turned off by its hypersexual marketing campaigns and the disappointing holiday sales are the biggest evidence of that. Other retailers like Abercrombie & Fitch and American Apparel have dialed back the sexy, but Victoria’s Secret is refusing to change. The holiday ad campaign with languid, pouty models strolling around a chateau seemed out of touch with what women want today.
L Brands, which owns Victoria’s Secret, reported that December comparable sales fell by 4%. The overall comp sales fell by 1%. Part of this decline at Victoria’s Secret was due to the loss of categories, like swim, that the company has decided to exit, but the rest was a decline in its core lingerie, its biggest business. Long known for high prices, the company tried selling some of its bras for as little as $10 in December, but even a deep discount didn’t work. This is troubling because December is prime time for lingerie sales.