After trying to get into what the cool kids want these days, lingerie veteran Victoria’s Secret has decided to stop trying to be trendy, and just stick with what it knows best: Bras with padding, wiring, and the ability to push things upward.
Competitors are all about pushing bralettes these days. Some shoppers like these wireless bras — that usually don’t have padding — because they come in simple sizes like small, medium, large, and extra-large, instead of cup sizes, which can make it easier to predict how something will fit.
But despite its best efforts, Victoria’s Secret apparently hasn’t had much success with the trendy items, and will pull back on that front. Bralettes will now be less than 5% of its production mix, Victoria’s Secret Chief Executive Jan Singer said on an earnings call this week.
Instead, it’s back to pushing things upward.
“Bralettes trend up and down and we’ll have them,” Singer said. “But we make constructed bras best and anyone can make bralettes. We get paid for construction.”
Singer notes that the company has a “cornerstone in the business of the push-up bra,” and while they tried the bralette thing, they’re now finding “a lot of sexy in the middle,” noting that “fashion in constructed bras is the way to go for us going forward.”
“I think anybody can make a bralette and that was a moment that will come and go [and] it will come again,” Singer noted. “But for us, we make constructed bras best.”
Trying new things
Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands has rolled out a bunch of changes in the last few years in an effort to increase sales and keep customers coming back.
Among those moves: Selling more sports bras, getting rid of the swimwear category altogether, and trying to become less reliant on its print catalog. Last fall, the company also announced it would be ditching those ever-present “free panty” coupons.
In the meantime, Victoria’s Secret is facing new rivals like Amazon, which is reportedly interested in expanding its in-house apparel brands to include women’s intimate apparel.
The brand is also feeling the pressure from a recent flood of lingerie startups, many of which offer a subscription-like model and promise to provide more accurate sizing.