The largest American lingerie retailer, Victoria’s Secret is turning 35 years old in 2012 — and despite all the glamour, sexy prints and exuberant models, this famous brand keeps selling dreams — for better or worse — to real women out there.
A little bit of history
Victoria’s Secret didn’t start as a “bombshell factory”. In fact, Roy Raymond founded the company and opened his first boutique in California, tired of being ashamed of purchasing lingerie in regular department stores. The image of Victoria’s Secret stores was simple: a place where men could feel comfortable. Moreover, a store where mail-order catalogs would make things easier.
Long story short, Victoria’s Secret was sold to a “parent” company and quickly became one of the most popular brands in the United States, with revenues up to $4.5 billion per year in store sales and more than $1.5 billion in catalog and Internet sales, for a wide range of products (from lingerie, to perfumes, clothes and cosmetics) and even an annual TV fashion show filled with celebrities and glitzy skits. Now, what’s Victoria’s Secret true secret?
Victoria’s Secret: a psychological path?
We’d say Victoria’s Secret success is a combination of beautiful, ultra famous top models, mind-blowing lingerie and the desire of mere mortals to look good. Perhaps, most women are empowered by alluring advertisements to feel great in their own skin.
When you think of Victoria’s Secret, a world of charm, sex-appeal and magnetism immediately comes to mind, and it doesn’t have anything to do with your social status — it’s just a matter of being convinced to “have it all” with small — but not always cheap — things.
On the other hand, many girls feel Victoria’s Secret supermodels are perfect; bringing out the pressure to fit into a cliché, no matter what. Could this potentially and eventually lower Victoria’s Secret net sales? Of course not. But you as a woman can avoid being overly sensitive toward the brand’s excess and voluptuous bodies. Judging by 35-years of evolution, Victoria’s Secret has changed from a trade sophisticated attitude to an artificial, almost goddess-like image.
Latinas: a powerful market
Latinas are known for being confident about themselves — and Victoria’s Secret seems well aware of this. In 2008, the brand launched a Spanish version of their website, conquering a new target; and there’s more: several franchises in Colombia, one developing in El Salvador, plus hundreds of non-official retailers all over Central and South America.
Victoria’s Secret products don’t come easy on the pocket in Latin America. However, this makes it extra special among Hispanic women — even by just owning a last season brassiere or a creamy lotion, you could feel like a million bucks.
Bottom line: Victoria’s Secret remains the number one dream factory for ladies, whether you need an excuse to improve your self-esteem or simply lusting after delightful — sometimes airbrushed — bodies.