A Major Contender in Multiple Markets
While the market for women’s apparel is extremely competitive, there is one company that continues to thrive as it has for years, Victoria’s Secret. The company was created in 1977 by a man named Roy Raymond as a place where men could go to buy lingerie for women without feeling embarrassed. After five years of operation, Raymond decided to sell the Victoria’s Secret name to another well-rounded entrepreneur, Leslie Wexner. Wexner went on to create Limited Brands, which is now the parent of the following chains: Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, La Senza, and Henri Bendel. (Peter, 2010)
Since Limited Brands acquired VS it has turned into much more than just a lingerie store. They have released many new lines of apparel, swimsuits, perfumes, and other beauty products. The chain has grown to about 1,040 stores in the U.S., with their headquarters located in Columbus, Ohio. Many Victoria’s Secret shops can be found in high fashion areas like New York and Chicago, but they are also in most common shopping centers and malls. Recent findings obtained from Limited Brands annual reports show that VS had a net income of $5.6 million and is always on the rise. For example, from 2009 to 2010 sales increased by an astounding 22%. Out of all the companies owned by Limited Brands, VS brings in the most revenue, coming in at around 67% of total income. (Annual Report, 2011) There are many factors that have lead to their growth and success such as how they deal with competition, effective marketing strategies, and the elegant environment that they provide for their customers.
Since VS has expanded their products to much more than when the very first store opened, they are much more profitable and compete in many different markets. The most apparent and popular of these are lingerie and intimate apparel. Perhaps it is because that is what the company specialized in in the first place, or maybe because of their supermodel “angels”, but when people think of Victoria’s Secret they think sexy underwear. However, adding to their product lines have made them much more marketable to different ages and different kinds of people. They have now made a name for themselves in the markets of women’s apparel, swimsuits, perfume, and beauty products.
Although Victoria’s Secret is a very well-known and profitable company they do still have competition within these markets. For their more comfortable and sensible undergarments, companies like Fruit of the Loom and Hanes are similar options for their customers. For their more racy selections customers might look at Lover’s Lane or Spencer’s instead of VS. Recently, American Eagle’s “Aerie” collection has been putting up a good fight against Victoria’s Secret’s line of PINK products. Both lines have similar products such as underwear, bras, tank tops, yoga pants, and sweaters. Aside from specific brands, VS also competes with many large department stores. Stores like JCPenney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, and Target attract shoppers because they are able to get everything they need in one stop. Also, these department stores have the luxury of distracting their customers with these products when they were probably in to buy something else. VS has more of an exclusive shopping experience. Most of their clientele are repeat customers and go in knowing a general idea of what they would like to buy. Someone who has never been to VS might prefer to stick with large department stores because of the extensive variety of products.
Though Victoria’s Secret was first created to accommodate men who were buying lingerie for women, it has since made a major shift and is now geared mostly toward women. Sure, their advertising campaigns gain a lot of attention from men but the fact of the matter is that the number of women coming in and buying things for themselves far outweigh the men that come in to buy gifts for them. About ten years ago, the main age group...