December 4, 2008

Victoria's Secret

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Victoria's Secret
is an American retailer of women's wear, lingerie and beauty products.[2] It is the largest brand and a segment of publicly traded Limited Brands with sales surpassing USD$5 billion and an operating income of $1 billion in 2006.[2] Victoria's Secret is known for its fashion shows and catalogues, which feature top fashion models.

History

Victoria's Secret was started in San Francisco, California, in 1977 by Stanford Graduate School of Business alumnus Roy Raymond,[3] who felt embarrassed trying to purchase lingerie for his wife in a public and awkward department store environment. He opened the first store at Stanford Shopping Center, and quickly followed it with a mail order catalog and 3 other stores.[3] The stores were meant to create a comfortable environment for men, with wood-paneled walls, Victorian details and helpful sales staff. Instead of racks of bras and panties in every size, there were single styles, paired together and mounted on the wall in frames. Men could browse for sexy styles for their girlfriends so they could get "down and dirty" and then sales staff would help estimate the appropriate size, pulling from inventory in the back. In 1982, after 5 years of operations, Roy Raymond sold the company to The Limited.

The Limited kept the personalized image of Victoria's Secret intact. Victoria's Secret was rapidly expanded into the U.S. malls throughout the 1980s. The company was able to vend a widened range of products such as shoes, evening wear, and perfumes among others with its mail catalog issued eight times annually.

By the early 1990s, Victoria's Secret had become the largest American lingerie retailer topping one billion dollars.[4]

On 10 July 2007, Limited Brands sold 75% of Limited clothing chain to firm Sun Capital Partners to focus and boost sales growth on Victoria's Secret lingerie stores and Bath & Body Works units, which provided 72% of revenue in 2006 and almost all the firm's profit.[5]

1,000 Victoria's Secret lingerie stores and 100 independent Victoria's Secret Beauty Stores in the US, mostly in shopping centers. It sells brassieres, panties, hosiery, cosmetics, sleepwear, and much more. Victoria's Secret mails more than 400 million of its catalogues per year.[1] Under pressure from environmentalist groups, Victoria's Secret's parent firm and a conservation group have reached an agreement to make the lingerie retailer's catalogue more environmentally friendly in 2006. The catalogue will no longer be made of pulp supplied from any woodland caribou habitat range in Canada, unless it has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The catalogs will also be made of 10 percent recycled paper from post-consumer waste.[6]

Victoria's Secret is now building its image with a fairly conservative, middle-class shopper in mind and avoids any connotations of sleaziness that lingerie might carry.[4]

The company gained notoriety in the early 1990s after it began to use supermodels in its advertising and fashion shows. Throughout the past decade, it has refused to follow the celebrity trend, turning down at least one celebrity a month begging to model the brand.[7]

Victoria's Secret makes use of a rigorous customer service model, stressing upselling, frequent staff attention, and signing customers up for a store credit card that provides discounts for frequent shoppers in the way of coupons by mail and free merchandise.

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Victoria's Secret Angels

"Victoria's Secret Angels" are the brand's most visible models and spokeswomen. The VS Angels made their début in 1999 in the fourth annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Daniela Pestova, Laetitia Casta, Heidi Klum, Stephanie Seymour, and Tyra Banks are among the "Angels" from the original promotion.[8] In May 2007, the Victoria's Secret Angels, including Adriana Lima, Selita Ebanks, Alessandra Ambrosio, Miranda Kerr, Izabel Goulart, and Karolina Kurkova were chosen to be part of People Magazine's annual "100 Most Beautiful People in the World" issue. [9] The 'Angels' are among the world's best-paid models. [7]

On November 13, 2007, Victoria's Secret Angels became the first trademark awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. [10]

Current

The models started working for the company before being contracted as Angels. Listed below are the years the current Angels started shooting and working for the company. Their first runway show for the company is the second year listed below. The years the models were contracted into Angels are listed above.

Former
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Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

In 1995, Victoria's Secret held its first fashion show; the world press reported it as the "lingerie event of the century". In 1999, the VS company made broadcast history in simultaneously broadcasting a live fashion show online and at Times Square, drawing some 1.5 million viewers, after being advertised during the Super Bowl American football game.[16][17]

In 2000, the show was held in Cannes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival to raise money for the Cinema Against AIDS charity; it raised $3.5 million.

In 2001, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show made its broadcast television debut on ABC, drawing millions of viewers and middle-brow controversy; the Federal Communications Commission receives many complaints about each broadcast every time.[18]

In 2004, instead of the annual fashion show, The Angels (Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Gisele Bündchen, Adriana Lima, and Alessandra Ambrosio) did an Angels Across America Tour, a grassroots campaign for the brand visiting four major cities, New York, Miami, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.[12]

In 2005, the Rutgers University Drumline made a guest appearance for the show's finale. This was Tyra Banks' last runway appearance.

The 2007 show featured a performance by the Spice Girls and gained prominence as the first American TV debut of the band after their comeback.[19] Kanye West was also scheduled to perform at the event, but cancelled his appearance due to his mother's death. Will.i.am was called to perform in his place.[20]

The fashion show features mostly lingerie and a multi-million-dollar "Fantasy Bra." In 2006, Victoria's Secret's sub-brand Pink made its debut on the runway. The show has since evolved into a lavish event with elaborate costumed-lingerie, varying music, and set design according to the different themes running within the show. The show attracts hundreds of celebrities and entertainers, with special performers and/or acts every year. The giant angel wings worn by the models, as well as other wings of various forms and sizes such as butterfly, peacock, or devil wings, are Victoria's Secret's fashion trademark. The fashion show is also a meeting of today's supermodels, who are always posing in the middle, after the final walk.[17]

In the past, most of the clothing exhibited was not for sale, but in 2005, the show featured the clothing for sale in the catalogue.[18]

Year Broadcast date Television network Viewers (millions) Guest performers
2001[8] November 15 ABC 12.4 Mary J. Blige, Andrea Bocelli
2002[21] November 20 CBS 10.5 Destiny's Child
2003[21] November 19 CBS 9.4 Sting, Mary J. Blige, Eve
2004 N/A N/A N/A N/A
2005[21] December 6 CBS 8.9 Chris Botti, Ricky Martin, Seal, Rutgers University Drumline[13]
2006[22] December 5 CBS 6.8 Justin Timberlake
2007 December 4 CBS 7.4[23] Spice Girls, Will.i.am
2008 December 3 CBS
Usher

Sub-Brand

Victoria's Secret PINK

In July 2004, company executives launched PINK, a lineup of loungewear, sleepwear, and intimate apparel geared mainly towards university and high school students.[24] Alessandra Ambrosio was named the line's first spokesperson. PINK tours campuses around America setting up little mini stores outside for the students to purchase items from.[25] The company markets to youth through MySpace, Facebook, partnerships with MTV, and youth-oriented blogs. The brand has received worldwide nomination for best in the category performance year to year for the past two years. Miranda Kerr is the current spokesperson for Victoria's Secret Pink. Since early 2008, Behati Prinsloo has been appearing in much of their of advertising.

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Basic store facts

  • There are 1,003 Victoria's Secret Stores in all, which equals approximately 5,126,000 selling square feet.
  • $731 is the average dollar amount of sales that occur per selling square foot.
  • The average store size in selling square feet is 5,111.
  • The net sales that each stores gross is $3.7 million or about $3.7 billion for all stores.
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Source: Wikipedia

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