Victoria's Secret

Victoria's Secret is the leading specialty retailer of lingerie operating more than 1,000 stores across the U.S. Victoria's Secret has helped, perhaps more than any other brand, attract attention to the lingerie industry. Their advertising campaigns, including the Victoria's Secret Catalog and Victoria's Secret Fashion Show are visually appealling and controversial. The attention received by Victoria's Secret for their aggressive advertising campaigns has generated priceless word-of-mouth and media bytes to further enhance the Victoria's Secret brand.

Victoria's Secret sales in 2003 were a reported $2,822 million across 1,009 stores. Selling square feet were 4,735,000, equivalent to an average sales per square foot of approximately $600, up almost 3% from prior year. Overall, same store sales were up almost 4% from prior year. 

A Brief History of Victoria's Secret

Victoria's Secret was established in San Francisco during the early 1970's by Roy Raymond. The concept was to establish a cozy, inviting atmosphere similar to that of a victorian boudouir. Roy's Victoria's Secret, consisting of three stores and a catalog business, was acquired by Limited Brands, among some controversy, in 1982. Many incorrectly believe that Victoria's Secret was of British heritage. An image which some say was perpetuated by its parent company.

Today, Victoria's Secret lingerie is the top performer for the congolomerate. Victoria's Secret, under Limited Brands, has a history of being sexy, youthful and romantic. Men and women have come to recognize Victoria's Secret as the place to buy a lingerie or perfume gift.Together, these three vehicles to market combined with Victoria's Secret aggressive marketing has made Victoria Secret the best known lingerie brand and brought greater attention to the lingerie industry.

Much of Victoria Secret's success is attributed to Grace Nichols. Nichols joined Victoria's Secret in 1986 as vice president, general merchandise manager. In 1988 she was promoted to executive vice president. In 1991, Ms. Nichols was named President and CEO of Victoria's Secret. Under Nichol's leadership, Victoria's Secret has become one of the top 10 recognized brands in the world and the leading specialty retailer of lingerie.

Victoria's Secret's phenomenal success has brought much revenue growth and controversy. Victoria's Secret Fashion Shows, Victoria Secret Catalogs and Victoria Secret models have become more revealing, more voluptous and more controversial. See examples here.

Victoria's Secret announced last month that it is dropping its nationally televised fashion show this year, at least partly because of criticism following Janet Jackson's breast-baring faux pas at the Super Bowl. The televised fashion show has generated criticism in the past from groups complaining about supermodels strutting down the runway in skimpy underwear. Recent confusion surrounds the inclusion of Bob Dylan in Victoria's Secret ads. Additional information here.