Victoria’s Secret Runway Show Returns, but Isn't the Company Losing Business?
While transitioning to become a more inclusive brand, Victoria Secret has struggled over the years. Is the company going out of business?
After years of being called "fatphobic" by people across the U.S. (among other delegations), Victoria's Secret decided to change its tune. What was the company's goal? Victoria's Secret wanted to be more in line with making women feel good about themselves and focus less on what men want. It also aimed to become a more inclusive brand. Through these changes, the brand has suffered a bit.
So, is Victoria's Secret going out of business?
Although Victoria's Secret welcomed people like plus-size model Paloma Elsesser and Valentina Sampaio, an LGBTQ+ activist, into its lineup of models, people still question whether the brand has done enough to include people of all types and is worthy to stand alongside rising brands like Savage X Fenty.
Here's a look at some of the changes Victoria's Secret has made over the years — plus details on how it's performing in 2023.
Is Victoria's Secret going out of business?
In 2020, Victoria's Secret closed more than 400 physical storefronts to cut costs and focus on its flagship locations and e-commerce operations. By the time 2021 rolled around, the company closed an additional 30–50 stores in the U.S. and Canada.
After executing all planned store closures, Victoria's Secret is left with roughly 1,350 retail stores worldwide in 2023.
During the time store closures were being implemented, Victoria's Secret former sister company, Bath & Body Works, was opening about 49 new locations in the U.S. and Canada, bringing its total store count in the region to 1,800. Despite having to shutter some retail stores, Victoria's Secret is doing well enough to keep operations going.
Therefore, the beloved lingerie brand isn't going out of business anytime soon.
Is Victoria's Secret still owned by L Brands?
In August 2021, Victoria's Secret split from its publicly traded parent company, L Brands Inc. (NYSE:LB). Prior to the spin-off, Victoria's Secret CEO Martin Walters said in a presentation, "We lost relevance with the modern woman. And she told us very clearly to change our focus from how people look to how people feel — from being about what he wants to being about what she wants."
Following the split, Victoria's Secret changed its official name to Victoria's Secret & Co. and is now listed as a public company under the ticker symbol "VSCO" (which just so happens to be the exact name of a popular photo editing tool, a fact that may or may not confuse young Millennials and Gen Z folks).
Meanwhile, LB will change its ticker to "BBWI" to reflect its remaining flagship subsidiary, Bath & Body Works.
What happened to Victoria's Secret after the spin-off?
According to an L Brands press release about the spin-off, "Victoria’s Secret [had] no history of operating as an independent company, and its historical combined and unaudited pro forma financial information is not necessarily representative of the results that it would have achieved as an independent, publicly traded company."
Despite this, the company's goals are in line with the competitive market (including ThirdLove and Cuup), which might be enticing to traders who are looking to invest in a company that advocates for women of all types.
While the company has struggled a bit with sales, it went from collecting $7.5 billion in 2019 to $5.41 billion in 2020, it did see its revenue jump in 2021 to $6.75 billion, according to Statista. The brand has also been working tirelessly to ensure people of all types feel included.
Is there still a Victoria's Secret Fashion Show?
It was in November 2019 that Victoria's Secret decided to "take a break" from the runway. Between declining sales and poor TV ratings, as Vogue explained, the brand needed time to regroup. Now, some years later, Victoria's Secret is ready to hit the stage again in 2023.
Plenty of Twitter users were excited by the news while others stated that they would hold onto their opinions of the brand until after the show.