Table of Contents
- Victoria’s Secret parent rethinks exit of swimwear, apparel while testing revived catalog
- These photos reveal why women are abandoning Victoria’s Secret for American Eagle’s Aerie underwear brand
- Police Say 2 Stole $21K Worth of Victoria’s Secret Panties
- Victoria’s Secret: Targeting Young Women?
- Body Positive Alternatives
- 1. Aerie:
- 2. DearKate.com:
- 3. Forever Yours
- 4. Yellowberry
- Victorias Secret Coupons
- Q&A with Victoria’s Secret
- Connecting with Victoria’s Secret
- Stay in the Loop with Victoria’s Secret
- Victoria’s Secret Coupons & Promo Codes
- Victoria’s Secret Can’t Quit Coupons
The catalog subscriptions page on the Victoria’s Secret website now suggests that shoppers who want to “stay connected” should check its website regularly, follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share their email address.
In other words, these alternatives are about as effective as a flood of catalogs, which Victoria’s Secret has sent billions of over the years. There was a time when it shipped almost 400 million annually.
Fifteen years ago, the brand sent out 368 million catalogs in one year and attributed sales of $962 million to those and its two-year old website, which were grouped into the Victoria’s Secret Direct division. As catalog sales transferred to the web, circulation didn’t change much: as recently as 2012, Victoria’s Secret said it mailed 325 million catalogs a year and spent $220 million on them, according to a job listing at the time.
There are still plenty of retailers using catalogs: J.Crew, West Elm, Restoration Hardware — J.C. Penney even recently brought its back after discontinuing it.
But catalogs are “going to matter less and less to the younger consumer,” who are already showing less of an affinity for stores, Peterson said.
“My guess is five years from now, we won’t even remember it,” Peterson said of the Victoria’s Secret catalog. “You’ll have something in your box in your basement and say remember this, when we had paper?”
Victoria’s Secret parent rethinks exit of swimwear, apparel while testing revived catalog
L Brands seems to be having second thoughts about dumping Victoria’s Secret’s swimwear, apparel — and catalog.
The Columbus-based retailer’s lingerie chain said in 2016 it would get rid of the two product categories in 2016 and make other changes to streamline the business and focus on its core merchandise categories.
But since instituting those changes, L Brands has stumbled: Its stock price has fallen drastically, and operating income at Victoria’s Secret has dropped by $458 million, or 33 percent.
Wall Street analysts and L Brands shareholders have suggested recently that dumping swimwear, apparel and the famous Victoria’s Secret catalog were huge mistakes. Eliminating the two merchandise categories meant the loss of annual sales of $525 million. And the catalog’s annual circulation to nearly 250 million households was a key factor in connecting with many customers.
On Thursday, during a conference call with analysts to discuss the company’s first-quarter earnings, L Brands executives acknowledged that the changes have created quite a mess. The absence of the catalog and the elimination of many discount offers caused some customers to stop visiting Victoria’s Secret stores.
Also of concern: the previously fast-growing Pink business — a spinoff of Victoria’s Secret aimed at younger customers — also was affected by the changes, causing its sales growth to slow.
One analyst asked L Brands executives whether there is discussion about relaunching swimwear and apparel.
Stuart Burgdoerfer, L Brands’ chief financial officer, acknowledged: “Yes, there is.”
Then he quickly added, “But our focus is on lingerie, lounge wear, sportswear in Pink, and our beauty business. Our greatest focus is in growing our core categories.”
During the conference call, executives said steps are being taken to reverse course on one of its earlier decisions: the discontinuation of the Victoria’s Secret catalog.
“We are testing new ideas like the magalog/catalog we mailed this month, with early encouraging customer response,” said Jan Singer, CEO of Victoria’s Secret.
Lee Peterson, an executive vice president at WD Partners, a Dublin retail-consulting company, said that L Brands’ efforts to focus on Victoria’s Secret’s core business was understandable, but the decision to exit several categories was always going to be difficult.
“Swimwear is very difficult: Styles change very quickly, colors change, and you can only sell it in January and February, and you’ve got to be out of it by March,” Peterson said. “But at the same time, they might have had sort of an exclusive on it. The way tops fit in lingerie is very similar to swimwear. So if you trusted Victoria’s Secret for that particular lingerie top, you would trust them for swimwear, too. It was a natural transition.”
As for the elimination of the catalog, “there was a period when everything was going online. Ten years ago or so … a lot of companies got rid of catalogs,” Peterson said. “But it was well-documented: Every time those companies got rid of those catalogs, online sales would drop. So when (L Brands) pulled the plug on it, I thought maybe that had changed.”
But it hadn’t changed, Peterson said, because while sales directly through catalogs were down, having the catalog around the house was useful. “It’s there, it’s on your mind — and then you go online and order your stuff.”
One of the things that the company might consider dropping, particularly because of younger customers’ preferences for models who look like real people, are the Victoria’s Secret Angels, Peterson said.
These photos reveal why women are abandoning Victoria’s Secret for American Eagle’s Aerie underwear brand
- Aerie has doubled down on its efforts to promote female empowerment, and this seems to be resonating well with customers.
- Meanwhile, Victoria’s Secret’s customers are complaining on Facebook that its ads, which feature scantily dressed models, are targeted more towards men than women.
- We visited the two stores to see how their ad campaigns differ.
In May, American Eagle Outfitters-owned underwear brand Aerie reported a record-high 38% increase in same-store sales for the first quarter of 2018.
“Aerie is simply on fire,” Jennifer Foyle, Aerie’s global brand president, said in a call with investors.
“We have only just begun,” she added, stating that the goal is now to grow the brand into a $1 billion business and open between 35 and 40 this year across the United States.
Aerie has doubled down on its efforts to appeal to female shoppers, ditching photoshopped images and partnering with women activists to promote female empowerment. It seems to be resonating well with consumers.
Meanwhile, rival lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret has been accused of failing to appeal to customers with its racy ad campaigns, which also threaten to negatively impact its teen-centric brand, Pink. It reported a more modest 1% increase in same-store sales growth for the first quarter of 2018, following negative growth in the previous quarter.
In January, Business Insider reported that mothers of teenagers who shopped at Pink were revolting online because of the oversexualized ads in Victoria’s Secret’s stores.
“It is basically pornography that everyone (children and teens) are subjected to viewing because there is only one area to check out between Pink and Victoria’s Secret, which happens to have the most obscene photos behind the registers,” shopper Jessie Shealy wrote on Victoria’s Secret’s Facebook page.
Pink has become one of the most successful parts of Victoria’s Secret, reporting stronger sales than other parts of the store in recent years.
But it’s not only Pink customers who are being put off by these racy photos. Some Victoria’s Secret customers are also complaining that its ads are targeted more at men than women.
We visited Aerie and Victoria’s Secret in March to see just how extreme the differences are:
Police Say 2 Stole $21K Worth of Victoria’s Secret Panties
Police in Pennsylvania have identified two suspects accused of stealing $21,000 worth of Victoria’s Secret underwear last month.
Lower Allen Township police say an 18-year-old woman and a juvenile they aren’t naming entered the store at the Capital City Mall near Harrisburg on April 7. Police say the juvenile acted as a lookout as Aida Melcado took panties from a table and from drawers and stuffed them in a bag.
Police tell WPMT-TV that they took about 2,000 pairs.
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Police say the two were identified by officers performing a drug investigation in Fairfax, Virginia, less than two weeks later. Melcado and the juvenile also were in possession of stolen merchandise from a Victoria’s Secret store in Bethesda, Maryland, and both were charged.
An arrest warrant was issued Friday for Melcado involving the Pennsylvania theft. A contact number for her wasn’t listed. It wasn’t clear if she has a lawyer to comment.
Victoria’s Secret: Targeting Young Women?
I have to admit, I’m usually not thinking about my underwear. Every couple of years, I splurge on a week’s worth of Victoria’s Secret panties to renew my supply. I know that they’ll fit, I like the prints available, and their cotton bikinis will be comfy and cute. What’s not to love?
But while I’m used to my Victoria’s Secret underwear, I’m starting to have second thoughts about the company itself.
Recently, my suitcase was damaged, fortunately, the only thing I lost was a weeks worth of laundry… including my Victoria’s Secret undies. And I’ve been hesitating at replenishing them.
I know I’m going to like their product, but do I want to give my money to this company?
Victoria’s Secret is certainly not the only member of the fashion industry that contributes to the limited and harmful definition of beauty. But they’re certainly not doing much to change that definition.
Take, for instance, their 2014 ad campaign, which centered around the idea of “the perfect body.” This idea that a singular “perfect body” exists is ludicrous and contributes to all sort of issues—eating disorders and self esteem issues in women, distorted ideas of the female body to men, and the marginalization of all other body types.
But even more disturbing is that Victoria’s Secret is consistently marketing to younger and younger girls. Their Pink line, ostensibly marketed to college-age women, typically skews much younger. It’s a smart marketing strategy—establish brand loyalty while they’re preteens, to keep women coming back. But to what end?
I’ve been shopping at Victoria’s Secret since I was an insecure teenager with an eating disorder. One of their bras was a full day’s pay at my weekend minimum wage job. I distinctly remember spending hours looking through the catalog and comparing myself to the impossibly perfect models. I didn’t know anything about Photoshop then, but I’m not sure it would have even mattered.
Is that the sort of message that we want advertising to be sending to young girls and women—that underwear is only valued if it’s sexy, and that “sexy” must mean thin, white, toned, and tall, with straight hair? There’s got to be a better way.
Body Positive Alternatives
It occurs to me that, other than taking advantage of sales here and there, I’ve been shopping at Victoria’s Secret for the last 18 years. By all accounts, I’m a loyal customer to a company I don’t agree with. And that’s primarily arisen out of laziness—if I’m not interested in Target’s underwear offerings, then Victoria’s Secret is my go-to store.
Victoria’s Secret has the most prominent marketing of any underwear line, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty to choose from besides VS. So if I’m going to buy some new undies, I’m going to at least look for some that use body-positive advertising with a range of different women. My search turned up a few companies I wasn’t expecting:
OK, I admit, I really didn’t know that American Eagle was still a thing, or that they had an underwear/loungewear store. But ever since 2014, they’ve promised not to airbrush their models, with the tagline:
“The girl in this photo has not been retouched. The real you is sexy.”
While the women in Aerie ads are still professional models, they’re a far cry from the Photoshopped supermodels that grace the pages of the Victoria’s Secret catalog. Aerie’s making regular models into underwear models, and the decision has paid off: when the store made the switch to non-retouched photos, sales jumped 9%
The Aerie website is designed so that when you search a specific bra size, you can view a model wearing that size. (Oh, if all online shopping retailers had that option, so many returns could be avoided!) They also prominently feature different races of models in all their print and online ads.
Dear Kate is another underwear company that’s fighting back against Victoria’s Secret. The store recently conducted a response to Victoria’s Secret’s Perfect ‘Body’ campaign, showcasing a line of women of all heights, builds and colors.
In 2014, the company chose also to feature female tech executives from Silicon Valley in their underwear ads. The execs were posed in office settings, leading meetings with other women, to fight the notion that professional women were defined by their clothing. Although critics called the campaign a major setback for women’s rights, founder and CEO of Dear Kate Julie Sygiel had this to say:
“If someone views our campaign as perpetuating sexism, it’s because they have certain expectations of women. Women can be just as powerful in underwear as they are in a power suit. It’s not fair for women in tech to be singled out and confined to more conservative behavior simply because they work in a male-dominated field.”
The downside: The ads I saw on Dear Kate still held true to a certain body standard. Only thin women were pictured showing their stomachs. Any woman that, at my best guess, was over a size 8 was pictured in t-shirts or tanks. That could have been the models’ preference, but it does still weaken their message of empowerment. (Also, their stuff is way out of my price range!)
3. Forever Yours
This Canadian company features “plus-size” model Elly Mayday, who was one of their top models before her battle with cancer. Since Mayday’s diagnosis, however, Forever Yours has shown Mayday with her bald head and surgery scars in frequent ads, which has inspired cancer patients around the world. Mayday had this to say in an interview with ABC about her newfound role:
“I hope people are inspired to go outside with their scars… to go outside without their hair on…
Not everyone in the industry is going to want to work with a person that’s scarred. But I have a good story, and I’m trying to start something.“
I think any decent company should stand by their employees through illnesses, but I love that Forever Yours has made a unique statement with their advertising. In real life, the most beautiful women I know are ones who have met life’s challenges with grace and courage, but you don’t often see ads that confirm that message.
Your underwear doesn’t need to be sexy. This company is taking that thought a step further, to help support young women, who are just learning to wear bras.
I love the story behind this company! 18-year old Megan Grassell launched a Kickstarter campaign to start Yellowberry after bra shopping with her 13-year old sister turned up only push-up, padded options. Instead, she worked with designers to create fresh, fun designs that encourage girls to feel good being themselves. The bras look comfortable, adjustable, and sporty.
I hate that advertising has made it impossible for women (and frankly, all consumers) not to compare themselves to models. But I’m thankful for companies like these, that are working to change the conversation around underwear, lingerie, and bras.
I don’t blame Victoria’s Secret isn’t responsible for my body image issues. But it is important to me that the next generation of young women sees more images of themselves in advertising that celebrate diversity in size, shape, and ethnicity. That’s why I’m taking a step away from Victoria’s Secret—I don’t need to support companies that aren’t at least trying to change the status quo.
Emily Rabbitt is a freelance and fiction writer in the Washington, D.C. area. She is a Massachusetts native, iced coffee enthusiast, and marathon runner, and tries to be a good citizen of the planet. Follow her on Twitter: @rabbitterun.
Victorias Secret Coupons
Q&A with Victoria’s Secret
How do I use my Victoria’s Secret coupon?
Select an offer, copy the coupon code, and follow the link to the Victoria’s Secret website where you can fill your virtual bag with goodies. At checkout, paste your promo code into the box provided in order to redeem your discount. If no code is supplied with your offer, life gets even easier! You will be redirected to the Victoria’s Secret website with your discount applied automatically – all that’s left for you to do is shop!
How much does Victoria’s Secret charge for shipping?
Victoria’s Secret offers free standard shipping on all orders over $100 while orders below this value cost $8 to ship. What more excuse do you need to treat yourself? Standard delivery should arrive in 3-5 business days, but you can opt for the 3 business day express, next business day, or Saturday delivery option if you need your Victoria’s Secret products faster. Please see the shipping page for further details and costs.
What is the Victoria’s Secret returns policy?
If you are not satisfied with your Victoria’s Secret goods, you can return your package for a refund or exchange with 90 days of purchase. However, if you miss this window, it’s not the end of the world! You can still return your merchandise for store credit – see the Victoria’s Secret returns information for details.
Where is my nearest Victoria’s Secret store?
Find your nearest Victoria’s Secret store using this handy locator tool, and you’ll be one step closer to perusing your favorite products in person.
Where can I buy a Victoria’s Secret gift card?
Victoria’s Secret gift cards can be purchased online and sent digitally via email or as a physical card in the mail. Both gift cards and eGift cards can be used towards orders over the phone, online purchases, and in any U.S. store.
Is there a Victoria’s Secret size guide?
Absolutely! The key to comfortable and flattering lingerie is ensuring you buy the right size for your shape. So, check out the Victoria’s Secret ‘Size & Fit’ tab on the customer service page before you lock down your purchase.
Connecting with Victoria’s Secret
Call Victoria’s Secret: (800) 411-5116 8am-2am 7 days a week
Email Victoria’s Secret: Get in touch through this online contact form
Live chat with Victoria’s Secret: hit the live chat tab to the right of the customer service page for 24/7 service
Stay in the Loop with Victoria’s Secret
- Victoria’s Secret Facebook
Victoria’s Secret Coupons & Promo Codes
Victoria’s Secret is the largest lingerie retailer in the US and set some of the hottest trends in women’s fashion. They offer deals & coupons on their bras, panties, swim, clothing, beauty, and more.
How to Use a Victorias Secret Coupon Code Online
- Add your desired item(s) to the shopping bag.
- Find and click the shopping bag icon located in the top right corner of the site.
- Follow steps 1 and 2 for address and delivery options. After choosing your shipping method, click â€œContinue.â€
- When you arrive at step 4 for payment, go back up to step 3 and click â€œOffer Codes.â€
- Enter your offer code(s) and click â€œContinue.â€
- See the offer code applied to eligible items. New order total reflects discount.
What are the Best Victoria’s Secret Coupons?
Victoria’s Secret offer codes (that’s what they call their coupon codes) will save you at least 10% off your purchase, plus you can stack up to three codes in one order!
- Free Shipping – Believe it or not, the best codes you’ll find for Victoria’s Secret are free shipping coupon codes. The price of shipping starts at $5.99 and tends to be 20-30% the price of your entire order! In a sense, getting free shipping is like getting up to 30% off your order, which is why free shipping coupon codes are consistently the best codes you can find.
- Discount Codes – The best Victoria’s Secret’s offer codes usually include at least $15 off your order of $100 or more, but sometimes you can use a code that will give you an 30% off your order of clearance items that are already discounted up to 60%!
- Free Deals with Purchase – Often, Victoria’s Secret will offer items, such as a tote bag, beach blankets, and fragrances for free with a minimum purchase threshold (e.g. “Free Tote with $75 Purchase”). Sometimes, this also includes free shipping with a bra purchase or other category.
What About Victoria’s Secret Printable Coupons?
Victoria’s Secret printable coupons are rare, but when they are offered, they are usually only available for one-time use. Be sure to sign up for Victoria’s Secret emails on their website to receive these one-time use coupons. Most other coupons, however, are online only. You can get exclusive in-store offers with a Victoria’s Secret Angel card.
Should I Get an Angel Card?
The Victoria’s Secret Angel card includes several perks. There are different levels of Angel members, but each level can earn $10-$15 for earning 250 points. You can get early access to sales, exclusive discounts and free shipping offers and more. New members get $15 off just for signing up.
Victoria’s Secret is an American designer, that manufactures and markets women’s premium lingeries. In fact, it is the largest American retailer of women’s lingerie. For you, fellas out there trying to purchase a gift for your women, or for you ladies out there trying to save money at Victoria’s Secret, yall should really consider purchasing a Victoria Secret Discounted Gift Card. Saving money is one thing, but saving money on something you plan on purchasing already is another thing! Purchase a discounted Victoria’s Secret gift card from the links below.
Below is a listing of our favorite places to buy Victoria’s Secret gift cards. There are always great deals and discount available when buying these so check back often. We will keep this list updated to reflect the best rates when possible.
Victoria’s Secret Gift Cards Discounts:
- GiftCardRescue – 22.0% discount
- JunkCard – 20.01% discount
- Raise – 19.4%
- GiftCardZen – 17.5%
Victoria’s Secret Gift Cards Summary:
- Availability: Available at a Victoria Secret’s retailer, online at VictoriaSecret.com and cash back shopping portals.
- Additional Savings: Check various cash back shopping portals such as GiftCardRescue, JunkCard, Raise, GiftCardZen
- Shopping Tips: Victoria’s Secret Gift Cards can be used to purchase items at Victoria’s Secret.
Victoria’s Secret is largest American retailer of women’s lingerie. If you are a consumer of Victoria’s Secret, you should already know that their merchandise can get a little pricey. So, you might be thinking, what is the secret to saving money on you purchases at Victoria’s Secret? Well the answer to that is simple, purchase a cheap, unused gift card from an online shopping portal today! In addition, don’t forget to check out our full list of Gift Card Discounts!
The Chase Freedom® Card offers a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
You’ll earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate and an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. You cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
This card has no annual fee and you’ll get a free credit score that’s updated weekly with Credit JourneySM.
Victoria’s Secret Can’t Quit Coupons
Remember when Victoria’s Secret discontinued its printed catalog, quit giving away freebies and stopped sending out so many coupons, in an effort to wean shoppers off the endless deals?
As the lingerie retailer struggles to attract shoppers, it’s beginning to do just about everything it said it was going to stop doing just a couple of years ago. Catalogs are creeping back into the picture, coupons are more plentiful and it’s becoming a lot easier to walk into a store and walk out with a freebie.
Until early 2016, Victoria’s Secret “free panty” coupons were among the most used and often abused deals out there. The no-strings-attached coupons were sent to frequent shoppers, but they often ended up being shared, traded or sold online, because they required no purchase whatsoever. “With your coupon in hand, go straight to whichever panty display has the panties that are free this month,” one blogger instructed. “Pick out one lovely pair, then tunnel vision your way to the checkout counter. The cashier will bag it up and send you on your way with a smile and a COMPLETELY free panty.”
Parent company L Brands finally figured out this might not be such a good idea.
“40% of the people that came in to redeem that offer came in, she got her panty, and she left,” Chief Financial Officer Stuart Burgdoerfer said in late 2016. “We abused our brands at Victoria’s Secret by promoting endlessly and endlessly,” CEO Les Wexner concurred. So “we bit the bullet,” he said, by eliminating the “Secret Rewards Program”, a twice-annual event in which Victoria’s Secret gave away free gift cards. And it eliminated some of the store’s most popular coupon offers, like the free-panty-with-no-purchase-required, in a move that Wexner acknowledged would be like weaning shoppers “off of drugs or something.”
But it turns out Victoria’s Secret couponers weren’t interested in going cold turkey. They needed another fix.
So, lo and behold, coupons for free Victoria’s Secret panties have begun showing up more frequently, though most now require an additional purchase. But if you don’t have a coupon, don’t worry, because Victoria’s Secret is practically handing out freebies at the door. It recently ran a “Buy 3, get 3 panties” promotion, and a “Buy 2 get 1 free” deal on bras.
“We believe it shows how desperate the company is to drive consumer traffic,” a recent Jefferies analyst research report observed about the increased promotions.
“We’re trying to drive traffic into the business through promotion,” Burgdoerfer acknowledged in a call with investors earlier this year. But he said Victoria’s Secret aims to “have the most compelling product possible… And that allows us over time to reduce the amount of promotion in the business.”
So far, though, nervous investors aren’t seeing it. If anything, the retailer seems to be ramping up the amount of promotion, with no end in sight.
The idea that cutting back on coupons and promotions could help turn around a retailer’s fading fortunes reminded some of what JCPenney tried several years ago. Its then-CEO also compared coupons to “drugs” and decided to do away with them. The experiment was a colossal failure, though, so the coupons returned and the CEO was replaced.
Victoria’s Secret hasn’t suffered a fate quite that drastic. But then coupons and deals aren’t its only problems. “Apart from stiff competition and heavy discounts, the company has been reeling under consumers’ changing preferences,” a new Zacks research report notes. Younger women are shopping elsewhere, and the store’s reputation – deserved or otherwise – of presenting women as sex objects no longer seems quite right for the times.
But if you’re looking for a deal and don’t mind where you have to go to get it, keep your eye out for more coupons and promotions from Victoria’s Secret. If coupons were indeed like “drugs”, then quitting them apparently turned out to be more difficult than the company imagined.