Victoria's Secret is taking steps to shed its much-criticized image. Here are 4 things that the brand has changed this year.
- Victoria's Secret had a rocky 2018. Sales slid, and it lost a CEO, closed stores, and came under intense scrutiny for its racy ads and runway shows, which analysts said failed to resonate in the era of #MeToo.
- Things came to a head in November, when an executive from parent company L Brands made controversial comments about transgender and plus-size models in an interview with Vogue.
- Toward the end of the year, L Brands CEO and founder Les Wexner addressed analysts' concerns in the company's third-quarter results and said the company was "looking at everything."
- Here's what has changed since then.
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At best, 2018 was eventful for Victoria's Secret. At worst, it was disastrous.
Sales slid, and it lost a brand CEO, closed stores, and came under intense scrutiny for its racy ads and runway shows, which analysts said failed to resonate in the era of #MeToo.Customers complained that the quality of its underwear had slipped, and the brand resorted to heavy discounting to shift stock.
Then, in November, things got worse after a Vogue interview with Ed Razek, the marketing chief of Victoria's Secret parent company L Brands, went viral online. Razek said in the interview that he didn't think the company's annual fashion show should feature "transsexuals" because the show is a "fantasy." His comments sparked an outcry online, and Razek issued a formal apology.
When the fashion show ran on TV shortly after, ABC said that ratings dropped by approximately a third from the year before.
Toward the end of the year, L Brands' CEO and founder Les Wexner addressed analysts' concerns during the company's quarterly results. Wexner said that everything was on the table as it looked to improve performance.
"Our new leaders are coming in with a fresh perspective and looking at everything… our marketing, brand positioning, internal talent, real estate portfolio and cost structure," he said.
Eight months later, we took a look at the changes the company has made: