Victoria’s Halloween Secret is Out

Discussion
Jul 14, 2010
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Halloween isn’t just for kids anymore and Victoria’s Secret
is looking to get in on the fun with a line of costumes for the holiday season.

As
a Columbus Dispatch piece points out, Victoria’s Secret will be following
costume shops, Frederick’s of Hollywood, Playboy and others in getting in on
a big business opportunity.

"Halloween has become much more of a grown-up activity and there are
all sorts of merchandise product opportunities," Chuck Palmer, owner of
Consumer X Retail and RetailWire BrainTrust panelist, told the Dispatch. "I’m
not surprised Victoria’s Secret would want a piece of that."

Numbers from the National Retail Federation
show sales of costumes to adults and older teenagers began growing in 2005
until being hit by the Great Recession. Young adults spent just under $70 per
person on Halloween last year versus $80 in 2008.

Victoria’s Secret has not
provided details on what its Halloween line will look like, but Mr. Palmer
expects they’ll avoid getting too risque.

"They’ll probably be more fantasy-oriented, like you see in the runway
show, and maybe play off the angel wings," he said.

Discussion Questions: Is it a good or bad idea for Victoria’s Secret to
be getting into the Halloween costume business?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

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18 Comments on "Victoria’s Halloween Secret is Out"


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Bob Phibbs
Guest
10 years 9 months ago

Let’s face it, they already are in the costume business. This is just a line extension.

Dr. Stephen Needel
Guest
10 years 9 months ago

How can you argue with this one?

Anne Howe
Guest
10 years 9 months ago

Brilliant. Fun, fantasy and a new reason to wander in and browse the stores.

Marge Laney
Guest
10 years 9 months ago

Brilliant! Victoria’s Secret is definitely firing on all cylinders and is poised to make Halloween the fall version of Valentine’s Day for the brand. As Chuck points out, Halloween is as big an adult activity as it is for kids, and probably much more profitable. Victoria’s Secret is smart to get in on the fun.

Dick Seesel
Guest
10 years 9 months ago

Terrific idea…let’s face it, Halloween is becoming more geared to adult dress-up (so to speak) and less to kids every year. I’m sure the VS Halloween collection will have an element of “costume” and a large dose of provocation. Victoria’s Secret would be smart to buy this collection somewhat cautiously, however — running out of Halloween goods is much better than carrying them over on November 1st.

Paula Rosenblum
Guest
10 years 9 months ago

I used to be the CIO of a party supply retailer. The notion that the adult costume business started growing in 2005 is just plain wrong. Nirvana happened when Halloween came on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. The grown-up costume parties would go out of control … and the margins on Halloween costumes are stunning.

You could raise the prices by 50% on the Saturday of Halloween and people would still buy them if they had a party to go to.

Halloween falls on a Sunday this year. A good day. VS will do well. Next year, not so much.

Ben Ball
Guest
10 years 9 months ago

No arguments from this quarter. Adults love fantasy just as much as kids do.

Kevin Graff
Guest
10 years 9 months ago

I rarely go to Halloween parties … but I might now! Kidding aside, with the growth of Halloween sales over the past few years, this is a great step for them. Not only will it garner new sales for this event, it will expose them to a whole group of customers who wouldn’t necessarily wander into their stores. Let’s hope they provide a great shopping experience for these new customers in the hope that they will become regulars.

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
Guest
10 years 9 months ago

Smart move. From the comments here it will be very well received!

Ryan Mathews
Guest
10 years 9 months ago

Let’s face it — it’s just a line extension! And, better still for the company, we and lots of other folks are talking about it.

David Biernbaum
Guest
10 years 9 months ago

Simply put, Victoria’s Secret entry into the grown up’s Halloween market is a very shrewd and timely idea. It’s naive not to recognize the opportunity in a big scary way!

Gene Detroyer
Guest
10 years 9 months ago

I wish I could say something original, but I concur with those who have come before me. Great idea. But, more than that, a natural. It fits perfectly with the brand!

Ted Hurlbut
Guest
Ted Hurlbut
10 years 9 months ago

This is a no-brainer for VS. The one caution is that they will need to be conservative with inventories. The category drops dead pretty quickly and the steep markdowns needed to clear remainders can wipe out all of the margin dollars pretty quickly. From my experience, the most successful are those retailers who try to get the last sale on October 20th, but not on October 30th.

Jonathan Marek
Guest
10 years 9 months ago

Yes, it is hard to disagree. On the inventory comment, last year, we went to a Spirit Halloween store on Nov 1st. Man, was that a scene from a retail horror movie! Stuff was ripped off the shelves, piled up everywhere, and marked down to pretty near cost. Of course, VS would never let any part of their store devolve that way (and to be fair, Spirit stores close after the markdown, of course). But still, they would want a scene anything like that, so the “plan for your last sale on Oct 20th, not Oct 30th” strategy makes tons of sense to me.

Lee Peterson
Guest
10 years 9 months ago

As long as it’s brand right, why not? I trust the master marketer Ed Razek will hit that target and lay off the sleaze button…or is that too boring? In any case, who wouldn’t want to go to that party?

Bill Hanifin
Guest
10 years 9 months ago

I first read with some apprehension, but realizing that the costumes are targeted for adults, I relaxed a bit. That is a fit with their overall offering.

My request to VS: Please just don’t introduce a line of costumes for Tweens, Teens, or anything in between!

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
10 years 9 months ago

My question to Victoria’s Secret is why has it taken so long to enter this growing market? They will reap great benefits from this very seasonal business that is growing by leaps and bounds.

Chuck Palmer
Guest
10 years 9 months ago

I think it’s interesting that the product will be in all channels. When Tim Feran of the Dispatch asked me to comment, his info pointed to just the direct channels–web and catalog. Having it in the stores adds a different dimension (to the above comment about last minute buys on a weekend).

We all know consumer behavior is different in-store than it is online. I’ll be interested to see how they present this in ads, promos, visual display and online.

And, yes, I’d go to that party.

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