Victoria’s Secret is moving out of the mall
Victoria’s Secret, which is attempting to reposition its business as it heads toward a spin-off from L Brands, has restated plans to move its new stores to standalone 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 planned to test its “store of the future” in three locations this fall. Victoria’s Secret will open one of the three at an unspecified strip center. It also plans to debut 10 other off-mall test stores by the end of next year.
The new stores will sport a new look for the chain, which last month launched its VC Ambassador campaign featuring a wide variety of role models as a means to pivot away from its longtime Angels campaign. The latter had been criticized in recent years for presenting an oversexualized image as depicted by the supermodels who walked the runway of the annual fashion show run by Victoria’s Secret. The new imagery is being brought to stores with mannequins, for example, displaying lingerie in different sizes and shapes.
Mr. Waters, according to CNBC, said that the chain’s new stores will seek to up customer service levels in a more modern and inclusive store environment.
One of the potential benefits for Victoria’s Secret shifting to off-mall locations may be the impact it has on its ability to expand its buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) service as well as fulfill orders from its physical locations.
Andrew Meslow, CEO of L Brands and Bath & Body Works, said in May on the corporation’s first quarter earnings call that off-mall locations had produced better results related to BOPIS and fulfillment from stores than those located inside of malls. Speaking for Bath & Body Works, he said that the chain would “be taking into account how to design stores in order to even better accommodate the BOPIS and ship-from-store capabilities” going forward. It’s reasonable to deduct that the same would be true of Victoria’s Secret.
- Victoria’s Secret to test off-mall ‘store of the future’ later this fall – CNBC
- Can Victoria’s Secret shift its brand image from sexy to empowering? – RetailWire
- LBrands Inc (LB) Q1 2021 Earnings Call Transcript – The Motley Fool
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What changes to store design, operations and other areas do you think Victoria’s Secret needs to make to be successful going forward? Is the chain moving fast enough to deal with current challenges and opportunities?