Introduction, history and business
Victoria’s Secret is a retail giant in the lingerie business. It is owned by the Limited Brands Company. Victoria’s Secret has generated to the tune of more than $4 billion in sales a year. It happens to be the fastest growing subsidiary of Limited Brands and contributes 42% of corporate profits. More than 1000 Victoria's Secret retail stores are open in the United States. Products are also available through the catalogue and online business, Victoria's Secret Direct, with sales of approximately $870 million. The company was started by Roy Raymond during the 1970s. It is said that, Raymond saw an opportunity in taking “underwear” of the time and turning it into fashion. Products stood apart from the traditional white cotton pieces, which department stores offered, with colors, patterns and style that gave them more allure and sexiness. They combined European elegance and luxury. Even the name Victoria’s Secret was meant to conjure up images of 19th-century England. The store went so far as to list a fake London address for the company headquarters. Like Starbucks, Victoria’s Secret markets self-indulgence at an affordable price. By 1982, Raymond had opened six stores and launched a modest catalog operation. He then sold Victoria’s Secret to Limited Brands, which took Victoria’s and sprinted away. Today, Victoria’s Secret enjoys nearly a monopoly position on the retail of intimate apparel in the US. 2012 sales were $6.12 billion with an operating income of $1 billion. The company sells lingerie, woman's wear and beauty products through its 1,000 U.S. stores, catalogs (annually mailing out 375 million) and website. Victoria's Secret is wholly owned and the largest holding of publicly traded Limited Brands company. Victoria's Secret is known for its catalogs and annual fashion show: the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. The typical bra that once sold for $15 at Victoria’s Secret, when the company first opened and was worried about competition, now sells for just under $30.
Victoria's Secret organizational size can be considered large. It consists of 50,000 employees and is located in almost all 50 states. Victoria’s secret has an integrated organizational structure, through which they aim for: * Maximizing the growth potential
* Hiring the best managers
* Recognizing future growth opportunities
The organizational chart shown below shows the various heads of division of tasks and responsibilities in the organization and the executives responsible for the same:
Victoria Secret's operations are organized into three divisions: Victoria's Secret Direct (online and catalog operations), Victoria's Secret Stores (stores), and Victoria's Secret Beauty (their bath and cosmetics line). The company does business in the following retail formats: general merchandise stores and apparel stores.
Leadership Style – Approaches
The leadership at Victoria’s Secret is segmented into various divisions and businesses like different executives for managing the catalog business, lingerie business, and body care businesses. The clear demarcation of jobs and assignment of goals helps in reducing overlapping responsibility and improves accountability. The leadership aims at maintaining the market leadership of the brand in the lingerie segment and expands this presence in world markets. The leadership majorly focuses on brand building and quality of the product. The focus is on fostering creativity and promoting energy and enthusiasm among the staff. Also, the executives at the helm try to give maximum independence to the employees to enhance creativity and innovativeness. Efforts majorly centre on building the image of the brand through the catalog business and the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. However the employees complain of poor management of work schedules and overstaffing, combined with non competitive pay for sales staff.
The culture is...
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