Lack of inclusivity to blame for Victoria’s Secrets’ demise

The UK arm of Victoria’s Secrets has fallen into administration.

Sofie Willmott, Lead Retail Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on this news;

“Victoria’s Secrets’ 25 UK stores are at risk in yet another blow to retail landlords as clothing & footwear spend continues to shift online. The underwear specialist’s e-commerce channel has been excluded from the administration, with the brand able to continue selling online only with lower costs, piggybacking on its US digital operations.

“As COVID-19 continues to have a devastating impact on the UK clothing & footwear market with spend forecast to decline 31.6% this year, the online channel will outperform, acting as a lifeline for many retailers whose stores have been forced to close. With Victoria’s Secrets stores primarily in flagship shopping centre locations including Bluewater, Westfield Stratford and Birmingham Bullring, the administration brings more bad news for landlords that are struggling to collect rent payments. Although administrators are looking for a buyer, if one is not found other retailers are unlikely take on these empty units given even those performing well pre-COVID-19 have experienced a significant slump in sales and are cutting costs.

“Despite being a desirable yet expensive underwear brand when it launched in the UK in 2012, Victoria’s Secrets has since lost its appeal for many shoppers due to a lack of inclusivity. Its famous catwalk show was cancelled last year after much debate but for many of its target customer base, it was too little too late and they had already gone elsewhere.”

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