The company began as a women’s underwear shop founded by Roy Raymond in 1977. Originally named after the Victorian era in England, the business soon grew to include a catalog and a few stores. In 1982, Raymond sold his company to Les Wexner for $1 million and launched the Limited Stores Inc. Les Wexner refocused the company on women’s fashion, making it a more successful underwear company.
Earlier in the year, Jan Singer, a former chief executive of the catalog division of the company, became the CEO of Victoria’s Secret Lingerie. Sales of the popular brand were on a decline from 2015 to 2018, and the company missed a major fashion trend involving bralettes. As a result, Aerie, ThirdLove, and Lively jumped into the market and began taking business from Victoria’s Secret. Other shoppers complained that the quality of the brand’s underwear had suffered.
The company’s brand continued to evolve in recent years. Earlier, the company introduced a line of underwear dubbed PINK, aimed at young girls between fifteen and 22 years of age. Pink sells sleepwear, loungewear, and underwear as well as accessories and beauty products. The PINK product line serves as a transitional line for young girls to move into the more adult lines. Victoria’s Secret also started a swimwear line in 2001, but this was only a short-lived venture. It was sold online and in catalogs, but was removed from the catalogue after a season.
The main resource of Victoria’s Secret is its extensive line of lingerie. Its trademark brand extends to all types of lingerie. The Miracle Bra, for example, is available in satin and lace, and features adjustable straps and underwire. Its Perfect Silhouette Bra is another bestseller, providing a comfortable fit under clothing and not being seen. Its clothing line includes panties, garters, and hose.
Another scandal involving Victoria’s Secret is the lawsuit filed by a disgruntled female customer. The lawsuit claims that Victoria’s Secret discriminated against women in its sales practices. The female customer claimed that she received a smaller discount from the catalog than her male co-worker. The male had the same catalogue, and received a 25 percent discount on a $75 purchase, while the female customer received only a $10 discount.
In a May 2017 email to employees, Wexner told staff members that the company was “rethinking the show”. The show has been plagued by controversy since a convicted sex offender managed Wexner’s money. Former executives said that Epstein had tried to meddle in the company’s business. He has since resigned. After the scandal, the company’s reputation suffered further damage.
In the following year, the company announced that it was rebranding to reflect a new era of empowerment for women. In June 2021, the company is replacing Angels with seven activists to lead the VS Collective. The new leadership team will redefine the meaning of’sexy’ and create new programs, product lines, and content that will empower women. They will also continue to champion the Victoria’s Secret breast cancer fundraising initiative.