Just before the start of summer 2016, Victoria's Secret shoppers said goodbye to its in-house swim line, seemingly for good. Parent company L Brands made the decision to counter slowing sales: "In order to better focus our resources on core merchandise categories, we have decided to eliminate non-core businesses, including swim, in our Victoria’s Secret lingerie business," read a statement from the brand. Three years later, Victoria's Secret is reversing that decision.
On Monday, Victoria's Secret shared a big "secret": It unveiled its re-launched swimwear selection on social media. The revamped assortment has much in common with the swim line shoppers may remember. The online-only collection includes colorful maillots and bikinis with cut-outs and revealing fits. Prices for the new collection range between $42 and $158.
There are some new additions to the Victoria's Secret swim lineup in its second iteration. Aside from its own in-house designs, it also carries swimwear from 15 outside vendors, including BCBGeneration, FAE, Lucky Brand, and Seafolly. The debut campaign was modeled by long-time brand models including Sara Sampaio, Elsa Hosk, and Jasmine Tookes.
The return of Victoria's Secret swim comes after several years of weakening sales. Some of those declining numbers have been attributed to its so-called "sexy" image. It has been criticized for casting a single body type in its campaigns and annual runway show. Meanwhile, brands that put inclusive sizing at the forefront (like Aerie or Harper Wilde) have grown.
Stuart Burgdoerfer, chief financial officer of L Brands, said customer feedback and further hits to sales following the line's removal from stores led Victoria's Secret back to its swim business. "We have made a very important decision and we believe a good one to reenter the swim business again, driven principally by customer feedback that we’ve received," he said.
Given that, it'll be interesting to see how the brand responds to customers now that the collection is live. After the launch, shoppers had mixed reactions to the collection. Many were excited to see swimsuits back on the Victoria's Secret website, but called the debut pieces "disappointing" and "expensive" on Twitter. The size range of the suits is also receiving criticism—it only spans extra-small to large for one-pieces, bikini tops, and bottoms.
It's not just swim that the embattled mall brand plans to revive. People reports that Victoria's Secret will also expand into eyewear and footwear later this year. Meanwhile, in-store experiences are still declining. Per WWD, Victoria's Secret still plans to close many brick-and-mortar stores this year.
Published at Wed, 20 Mar 2019 20:39:04 +0000