Bra Wars: Victoria’s Secret Tops Intimate Market Amid Low Stocks, Advertising Controversy

Victoria’s Secret is still on top when it comes to intimate apparel. The lingerie chain still has a dedicated group of shoppers no matter what. According to Checkout Tracking, a service of The NPD Group, shoppers at Victoria’s Secret are more likely to make frequent purchases than the average lingerie consumer, reports CNBC News.

Those shoppers also spend more, by dishing out an average of $40 to $60 more than the average intimate apparel shopper, due to the higher prices, according to the report’s data. Checkout Tracking pulled its data from customer receipts.

“The exclusive and differentiated merchandising mix that Victoria’s Secret offers shoppers has led to a unique breed of consumer that is extremely loyal,” according to Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at The NPD Group, said in a recent statement.

Victoria's Secret
[Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]

Old Navy and Aerie have been entering the arena, leading into what Jefferies analyst Randal Konik calls the “bra war.” Aerie has become Victoria’s Secret biggest competitor, especially when it comes to the popular lace “bralettes” and cotton underwear.

When parent company L Brands announced it plans to do away with the retailer’s catalog and swimwear collection, its stock declined amid concerns that sales would fall. And now, according to a new report via the Street, shares of L Brands are down 23 percent at $70. Investors have been concerned that some of the changes made to Victoria’s Secret have affected its shares.

“While these changes are likely to hurt revenue in the near term, in the long run the savings should offset the loss of revenue resulting in a net neutral impact to fiscal 2017 earnings,” according to the report. And with Victoria’s Secret loyal customers, it could happen.

Victoria's Secret
[Image by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for Victoria's Secret]

Victoria’s Secret has also shifted away from its expensive bras to its less expensive “bralettes” to help drive traffic and boost sales. The lingerie brand has still been hurt by the shift to more comfortable and less expensive bralettes. The bralettes cost around $20, while traditional Victoria’s Secret bras can run up to $80. In addition, bralettes are easy to manufacture and just come in three sizes – small, medium, and large. A regular bra is more difficult to manufacture and can come in 20 sizes or more.

The brand’s recent advertising campaign for its bralettes has made some consumers upset. Some recent posts on the brand’s Facebook page features the Victoria’s Secret models wearing the lacy lingerie as clothing, reports Business Insider. In one of the photos, a model is seen wearing an olive green lingerie slip as a dress paired with a gray cardigan.

In another photo, a model is seen showing off her olive green lace bralette paired with a black blazer and black trousers. Victoria’s Secret followers haven’t taken too kindly to the photos and style suggestions.

“This get up is not appropriate for public wear,” one commenter wrote. “Stop it, Victoria’s Secret. I love your brand, but your advertising is ridiculous!”

“Maybe if you still sold real clothes and dresses you wouldn’t have to convince people to wear your stuff outside,” another added.

One worried that “teens will think this is ok now,” while another one dubbed it as tips on “How to get fired” by Victoria’s Secret, reports Today.

Victoria’s Secret has yet to respond to the backlash. The company has since posted more photos of women out and about in their lingerie. However, they did upload several photos that show their models wearing the lingerie in the bedroom, like its catalogs used to show. On its website, the brand proudly touts the new bralette collection as “The New (Un)Dress Code” and shows various ways to take lingerie to work and to the streets. It doesn’t look like Victoria’s Secret will do away with this ad campaign anytime soon.

[Featured Image by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images]