Victoria’s Secret is the largest American retailer of lingerie. It was founded by Roy Raymond on June 12, 1977.
Its 2012 sales were $6.12 billion, with an operating income of $1 billion. The company sells lingerie, woman’s wear and beauty products through its 1,000 U.S. stores, catalogs (annually mailing out 375 million) and website. Victoria’s Secret is wholly owned and the largest holding of publicly traded L Brands company.
Victoria’s Secret is known for its catalogs and fashion show: the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
Victoria’s Secret is credited with single-handedly transforming “America’s conception of lingerie” by pioneering “sexy underwear as fashion” and “lingerie mainstream entertainment.” The societal manifestation is “the increased cultural acceptance of shopping for undies” in the United States.
1977: Founding Victoria’s Secret was founded by Tufts University and Stanford Graduate School of Business alumnus Roy Raymond and his wife Gaye in San Francisco Ca in 1977.
Eight years prior to founding Victoria’s Secret, Raymond had been embarrassed when purchasing lingerie for his wife at a department store. Newsweek in 1982 quoted Raymond in 1981 explaining: “When I tried to buy lingerie for my wife,” he recalls, “I was faced with racks of terry-cloth robes and ugly floral-print nylon nightgowns, and I always had the feeling the department-store saleswomen thought I was an unwelcome intruder.”
During the 1970s and 1980s most women in America purchased “dowdy”, “pragmatic” “foundation garments” by Fruit of the Loom, Hanes, and Jockey in packs of three from department stores and saved “fancier items” for “special occasions” like honeymoons. “Lacy thongs and padded push-up bras” were niche products during this period found “alongside feathered boas and provocative pirate costumes at Frederick’s of Hollywood” outside of the main stream product offerings available at department stores.
Raymond studied the lingerie market for eight years before borrowing $40,000 from his parents and $40,000 from a bank to establish Victoria’s Secret: a store men could feel comfortable buying lingerie. The company’s first store was located in Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California.
1977–1980: The early years Victoria’s Secret grossed $500,000 its first year of business at the Stanford Shopping Center, enough to finance to expand the company from a headquarters and warehouse with four new store locations.
The company expanded its sales channels via establishing a mail-order catalog operation. By 1980 Raymond had added two stores at 2246 Union Street and 115 Wisconsin Street. By 1982 the fourth store (still in the San Francisco area) was added at 395 Sutter Street. Victoria’s Secret stayed at the 395 Sutter Street location until 1991 when the store in need for more space relocated to Powell Street frontage of the Westin St. Francis.
In April 1982, Raymond sent out his 12th catalogue. Catalogue sales now accounted for 55 percent of the $7 million of the company’s annual sales. At this time, each catalogue cost $33.
The Victoria’s Secret stores at this time were “a niche player” in the underwear market. The business was described as “more burlesque than Main Street.”
1980–1982: Headed into bankruptcy Raymond’s philosophy of focusing on selling lingerie to male customers was becoming increasingly unprofitable; Victoria’s Secret was heading for bankruptcy.
1982: Sale to The Limited Raymond sold Victoria’s Secret Inc., which was grossing $6 million annually with its six stores and 42-page catalogue, to Leslie Wexner, creator of Limited Stores Inc of Columbus, Ohio, for $4 million, a figure later disclosed; at the time the deal was made, the New York Times reported that the sale price was not disclosed.
1983: Strategy change In 1983 Leslie Wexner revamped Victoria’s Secret. He discarded the money-losing model of selling lingerie to male customers and replaced it with one that focused females. Victoria’s Secret transformed from “more burlesque than Main Street” to a mainstay that sold broadly accepted underwear. The “new colors, patterns and styles that promised sexiness packaged in a tasteful, glamorous way and with the snob appeal of European luxury” were supposed to appeal to and appease female buyers. To further this image, the Victoria’s Secret catalog continued the practice that Raymond began: listing the company’s headquarters on catalogs at a fake London address. (The headquarters were really in Columbus, Ohio.) Also, Victoria’s Secret stores were redesigned to simulate the feel of 19th-century England.
In 1986, four years after the sale, the New York Times commented, “in an industry where mark-downs have been the norm, the new emphasis is on style and service”. The lingerie business was changing fast.
1983–1990: Expansion into malls In five years of the purchase The Limited had transformed a three store boutique into a 346 store retailer.
In 1985 Howard Gross is promoted to president from vice president.
In October 1985 the Los Angeles Times reports that Victoria’s Secret is stealing market share from department stores.
In 1986 Victoria’s Secret was the only national chain of lingerie stores. The New York Times reports on Victoria’s Secret’s rapid expansion from four stores in 1982 to 100 in 1986 through to analytics expectations that within two years Victoria’s Secret could have 400 stores in total.
In 1987 it was reported that the Victoria’s Secret catalog was amongst the “best-selling catalogs”. In 1987 the New York Times described the success of the catalog in such: “highly visible leader in the lingerie business by using unabashedly sexy high-fashion photography to sell middle-priced underwear.” In 1990 the catalog was one of the fast growing mail-order businesses.
Victoria’s Secret releases their own line of fragrances.
The Victoria’s Secret mail order catalog business was reported as amongst the fastest in the United States in 1990; when at which time analysts estimated that sales were in the area of $120 million a fourfold increase from four years prior when sales were $30 million. While many other clothing and fashion companies were struggling in what was said to be a “merchandise recession,” Victoria’s Secret still managed to sell more than any other retail store in the world.
During 1998 Victoria’s Secret enters the $3.5 billion cosmetic market.
1990–1993: Persistent quality problems By the early 1990s Victoria’s Secret faced a gap in management that led to the “once hot lingerie chain” to be “plagued by persistent quality problems”. Victoria’s Secret lost Howard Gross—who had grown the company into a “lingerie empire” since Waxner’s 1982 purchase of Victoria’s Secret when Wexner moved Gross to another of the Limited’s brands Limited Stores that was performing poorly. The consequence of the management reshuffle: “both divisions have suffered” it was reported.
1993– : Nichols resolves quality problems Beginning in 1993 Grace Nichols efforts to resolve quality problems was reported to be working.
When Victoria’s Secret restored quality to their product their margins tightened resulting in growth in profits slowing.
In 1994 Victoria’s Secret facing growing competition from Sara Lee’s WonderBra launched TV ads to raise the profile of the company’s Miracle Bra which they had introduced in 1993.
1996: Brand over stretch In 1996 Victoria’s Secret catalog sales fell short of meeting the previous year’s due to the Limited Inc’s expansion of “Victoria’s Secret too far beyond its lingerie roots” Victoria’s Secret expanded their apparel product offerings, and along with it added city apparel, country apparel and set their standard catalogs to comprise over half on sports apparel. Profits were squeezed with high paper prices. Some customers were receiving up to 22 catalog mailings featuring a broad range of apparel per year which “muddied the company’s image with its customers”.
By 1998 Victoria’s Secret’s market share of the intimate apparel market was 14 percent.
Leslie Wexner said that Victoria’s Secret began coordinating retail stores with their catalogue in 1998 to achieve a unified Victoria’s Secret brand.
–Early 2000s: Decelerating Growth leads to Brand Overhaul By 2000 slower sales growth from Victoria’s Secret Direct, the catalog division, relative to other divisions led to a management change at the catalog division. Specifically in May 2000 Wexner installed Sharen Jester Turney, previously of Neiman Marcus Direct, as the new chief executive of Victoria’s Secret Direct to turn around lagging sales at the catalog.
In 2000 Forbes reported Turney articulating, as she flipped through a Victoria’s Secret catalog, where she viewed Victoria’s Secret Direct lagging sales derived from: “We need to quit focusing on all that cleavage.”
In 2000 Turney began the redefining of Victoria’s Secret catalog customer base from one that was attracted to the catalog’s current offering of summed up by the new chief executive as “breasts—spilling over the tops of black, purple and reptile-print underthings” to an “upscale customer who now feels more comfortable buying La Perla or Wolford lingerie.” Turney’s redefining of the Victoria’s Secret catalog customer she sought to go after led to an end to the catalog that had become “a substitute for PlayBoy in some dorm rooms,” e.g. “dimming the hooker looks in Victoria’s Secret catalog” such as “tight jeans and stilettos” to one that was more akin to a Vogue lifestyle layout, where lingerie, sleepwear, clothes and cosmetics appear throughout the catalog.
Beginning in 2000 Grace Nichols, CEO of Victoria’s Secret Direct, led a similar change first at Victoria’s Secret’s stores located within cities in which the stores interiors lost their Victorian bordello look.
Victoria’s Secret’s growth slowed through to the middle of the decade. 2006–2008: Growth By 2006 Victoria’s Secret’s 1,000 stores across the United States accounted for one third of all purchases in the intimate apparel industry.In May 2006 Wexner turned to Sharon Jester Turney who had led the Victoria’s Secret catalog and online units to lead the whole company by promoting her to the top.
In September 2006 it was reported that Victoria’s Secret were head-hunting writers from Women’s Wear Daily to incorporate a more magazine feel into the text within their catalogs.
In 2008 CEO Turney acknowledged the disconnect between the company’s “product quality that doesn’t equal the brand’s hype”.
Products and marketing In the early 1980s Victoria’s Secret used FCB/Leber Katz Partners for the development of their brand, marketing and advertising.
In 1989 FCB/Leber Katz Partners and Victoria’s Secret executed a national advertising campaign featuring for the first time in the company history a ten page glossy insert that appeared in the November issues of Elle, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Victoria, House Beautiful, Bon Appetit, New Woman and People magazines. Victoria’s Secret used the insert to announced their expansion into the toiletries and fragrance business. Up through to the ten page insert Victoria’s Secret growth had been driven by their catalog, sporadic ads in fashion publications and word of mouth.
Current products Pink
Victoria’s Secret Pink Store NYCOn October 16, 2002 Victoria’s Secret announced the launch of Pink, a new lingerie line targeted to 15-to-22 year olds. The strategy driving Victoria’s Secret’s launch of Pink is to introduce the teenage girls to Victoria’s Secret stores. Pink sells underwear, sleepwear, lounge wear, beauty products, and accessories, with the intent to transition buyers into more adult product lines, such as Angels, Very Sexy, and Body by Victoria.
Pink’s competition in the lingerie market for 15–22 year old demographic includes Abercrombie & Fitch and American Eagle Outfitters’ Aerie. Pink’s pajamas and sweat pants were popular within the teenage and preteen set from 2006. In 2009 PINK established its first four stand-alone stores in Canada. In 2010 sales at PINK reached $1 billion.
Pink has a college line that focuses brand recognition through public university athletics. The Victoria’s Secret in Cincinnati sold a collegiate line—in partnership with the University of Cincinnati—in 2011. The brand is marketed to be fun, playful, and flirtatious. Promotions for the line come from college tours, tie-ins with the music channel MTV, and social media such as Facebook, MySpace. In 2011, the line announced a partnership with all 32 NFL teams and began selling apparel containing NFL team logos and names. The partnership is part of a marketing strategy for the NFL to market to teenage girls and college aged women.
In March 2013, the company mounted a marketing campaign for sexy underwear titled “Bright Young Things” directed at teen and pre-teen girls that drew considerable negative attention. The underwear contained wording including “Call me”, “feeling lucky” and “wild.” The company was accused of “sexualising” teenage girls. When the ad campaign was launched, Victoria’s Secret chief financial officer Stuart Burgdoerfer said that the line of underwear allowed “15 or 16 years old… to be older, and they want to be cool like the girl in college.” After the criticism increased, Victoria’s Secret removed the items from the companys website and said that the ad campaign was meant for college-age women.
Swimwear Through 2002 swimwear was only available via the web site and catalog; not in stores.
Music CDs With five CDs featuring romantic classical music that have sold more than one million copies each, Victoria’s Secret in 1991 hired the London Symphony Orchestra to record a CD.
Product history From at least 1985 through to 1993 Victoria’s Secret sold men’s underwear.
1993 Victoria’s Secret introduces the Miracle Bra selling two million within the first year. In 1999 Victoria’s Secret launches Body by Victoria.
Also in the 1990s Victoria’s Secret launched the Second Skin Satin.
In 2010 Victoria’s Secret launched the Incredible bra.
In 2012 Victoria’s Secret launched the The Victoria’s Secret Designer Collection described by Vogue as the company’s “first high end lingerie line.”
Victoria’s SecretOver the course of Victoria’s Secret’s evolution the company “has gone from being value-driven to creating a luxury- shopping experience and an aura of fashion associated with its product” which has been driven by marketing.
The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is an annual “elaborate marketing tool for Limited Brands”. The show is a mix of “beautiful models scantily clad in lingerie” and A-list entertainers “And every year, it becomes less about fashion and more about show”.
The company gained notoriety in the early 1990s after it began to use supermodels in its advertising and fashion shows. Throughout the 2000s, Victoria’s Secret has turned down celebrity models and endorsements.
In 1999 Victoria’s Secret’s 30 second Super Bowl advertisement led to one million visits to the company’s website within an hour of airing.
In 2004 Victoria’s Secret featured Bob Dylan in an advertisement to test new marketing possibilities whilst Victoria’s Secret dropped their fashion show for 2004 as a result of the fallout from the Janet Jackson/Super Bowl incident that caused complaints from women’s groups.
The brand turned to social networking in 2009, opening an official Facebook page and later on official Twitter and Pinterest accounts. It also expanded its website to feature behind-the-scenes content about its catalog and commercial shoots, as well as its fashion show.
Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show Beginning in 1995, Victoria’s Secret began holding their annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which is broadcast on primetime American television. Starting with the 1995 fashion show they are “a combination of self-assured strutting for women and voyeuristic pleasures for men—and lingerie becomes mainstream entertainment.” This involves a lavish event with elaborate costumed lingerie, varying music, and set design according to the different themes running within the show. The show attracts hundreds of celebrities and entertainers, with special performers and/or acts every year.
Ken Weil, vice president at Victoria’s Secret and Tim Plzak responsible for IT at Victoria’s Secret’s parent company Intimate Brands led Victoria’s Secret’s first ever online streaming of their fashion show in 1999. The 18 minutes webcast streamed February 2, 1999 was at the time the internet’s “biggest event” since inception. The 1999 webcast was reported as a failure by a number of newspapers on account of some user’s inability to watch the show featuring Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, and Stephanie Seymour as a result of Victoria’s Secret’s technology falling short being able to meet the online user demand resulting in network congestion and users who could see the webcast receiving jerky frames. In all the company’s website saw over 1.5 million visits whilst the Broadcast.com’s computer’s were designed to handle between 250,000 and 500,000 simultaneous viewers. In total 1.5 million viewers either attempted or viewed the webcast.
The 1999 webcast served to create a database for Victoria’s Secret of over 500,000 current and potential customers by requiring users to submit their contact details to view the webcast. The next spring Victoria’s Secret avoided technical issues by partnering with Broadcast.com, America Online and Microsoft. The 2000 webcast attracted more than two million viewers.
By 2011 the budget for the fashion show was $12 million up from the first show’s budget of $120,000.
Victoria’s Secret Angels Although it now refers to the brand’s most visible spokeswomen (while the fashion show models are referred to as “Runway Angels”), the Angels started out as one of Victoria’s Secret’s lingerie lines. The models featured in the original advertising campaign in 1997 were Helena Christensen, Karen Mulder, Daniela Peštová, Stephanie Seymour, and Tyra Banks. Due to their growing popularity, the brand used them in several other advertising campaigns until Christensen’s departure. In February 1998, the Angels made their runway debut at Victoria’s Secret’s 4th annual fashion show, with Chandra North filling in for Christensen. Their line-up has been changed multiple times over the years, with one being officially released before each fashion show. The brand currently lists 10 supermodels on its website, including Miranda Kerr, and recently launched a Facebook application highlighting Kerr and the Angels as well as Lais Ribeiro, Toni Garrn and Barbara Palvin.
Among other recognitions, the Victoria’s Secret Angels were chosen to be part of People Magazine’s annual “100 Most Beautiful People in the World” issue in 2007 and became the first trademark awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 13, 2007. Other notable spokesmodels for the brand have included: Claudia Schiffer, Eva Herzigová, Oluchi Onweagba, Jessica Stam, and Emanuela de Paula.
Current Victoria’s Secret Angels include from left Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Doutzen Kroes, Behati Prinsloo, Candice Swanepoel, Lindsay Ellingson, Erin Heatherton and Karlie Kloss (Lily Aldridge not pictured).[show]Nationality
United States Stephanie Seymour 1997–2000 1990 1995–2000 1995 Fashion Show host
Denmark Helena Christensen 1997–1998 1996 1996–1997
Netherlands Karen Mulder 1997–2000 1992 1998–2000
Czech Republic Daniela Peštová 1997–2002 1996 1998–2001
United States Tyra Banks 1997–2005 1996 1996–2005
Argentina Inés Rivero 1998 1998 1998–2001
France Laetitia Casta 1998–2000 1997 1997–2000
United States Heidi Klum 1999–2010 1997 1997–2009 (host only in 2006) Fashion Show host 2002, 2006–2009
Brazil Gisele Bündchen 2000–2007 1999 1999–2006
Adriana Lima 2000–present 1999 1999–2008, 2010–present
Brazil Alessandra Ambrosio 2004–present 2000 2000–present First Pink spokesmodel: 2004–2006
Czech Republic Karolína Kurková 2005–2008 2000 2000–2008, 2010
Cayman Islands Selita Ebanks 2005–2009 2004 2005–2010
Brazil Izabel Goulart 2005–2008 2004 2005–present
United States Marisa Miller 2007–2010 2002 2007–2009
Australia Miranda Kerr 2007–2013 2005 2006–2009, 2011-present Pink spokesmodel: 2006–2008
Netherlands Doutzen Kroes 2008–present 2004 2005–2006, 2008–2009, 2011–present
Namibia Behati Prinsloo 2009–present 2007 2007–present Pink Spokesmodel 2008–2011
South Africa Candice Swanepoel 2010–present 2007 2007–present
United Kingdom Rosie Huntington-Whiteley 2010 2006 2006–2010
United States Chanel Iman 2010–2012 2008 2009–2011
United States Erin Heatherton 2010–present 2008 2008–present
United States Lily Aldridge 2010–present 2008 2009–present
United States Lindsay Ellingson 2011–present 2006 2007–present
United States Karlie Kloss 2013-present 2011 2011-present
Note: Most Angels started working with the company years prior to signing an Angel contract. Listed above are the dates of first published or aired campaigns or, by default, first runway show or event.
Pink spokesmodels [show]Nationality
Brazil Alessandra Ambrosio 2004–2006
Australia Miranda Kerr 2006–2008
Namibia Behati Prinsloo 2008–2011
USA Chanel Iman 2010–2012
Sweden Elsa Hosk 2011–
Australia Jessica Hart 2012–
Portugal Sara Sampaio 2013–
In 2010, Erin Heatherton and Candice Swanepoel assisted Prinsloo and Iman in lauching the brand’s MLB and NFL lines.
Other models, such as Jessica Stam and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, as well as numerous celebrities (including Ashlee Simpson and Taylor Momsen) have appeared at events for the brand, such as its Spring Break concerts.
Reception Victoria’s Secret is credited with “transforming lingerie from a slightly embarrassing taboo into an accessible, even routine accessory.” In 2006 The New York Times reported that traditional fashion was influenced by intimate apparel “in part because of the influence of Victoria’s Secret – and ubiquitous, sexually charged come-hither marketing.”
Competitors In 1998 Gap launched a direct competitor to Victoria’s Secret: GapBody.
In 2008 Women’s Wear Daily reported that whilst “Victoria’s Secret dominates” in the lingerie market “the competition is intensifying”.
American Eagle also launched a direct competitor to Victoria’s Secret, the underwear line Aerie, which is currently their biggest competitor within the younger costumers.
Operating divisions 
Victoria’s Secret on Lexington Avenue, New York City,New YorkVictoria Secret’s operations are organized into three divisions: Victoria’s Secret Stores (stores), Victoria’s Secret Direct (online and catalog operations), and Victoria’s Secret Beauty (their bath and cosmetics line). The company does business in the following retail formats: general merchandise stores, apparel stores.
Victoria’s Secret Stores [show]Victoria’s Secret Stores 1982–2012
A store display
Victoria’s Secret in Las Vegas, NevadaThroughout the 1980s Victoria’s Secret took over the market using “faux-British veneer, romantic styling and soft classical music.” In 2000 the Los Angeles Times reported that Victoria’s Secret continued the practice of putting “on a British air—or what the Ohio-based chain thinks Americans believe is British. Boudoirish. Tony. Upscale.”
During the 1990s Victoria’s Secret saw a 30% increase in store sales after the use of analyzing in their data warehouse in which specific store the styles, sizes and color of which bras were selling.
As of 2010 there are 1,000 Victoria’s Secret lingerie stores and 100 independent Victoria’s Secret Beauty Stores in the US, mostly in shopping centers. They sell a range of brassieres, panties, hosiery, cosmetics, sleepwear, and other products. Victoria’s Secret mails more than 400 million of its catalogs per year.
During the 1990s store sizes grew from the average 1,400 square feet to between 4,000 and 5,000 square feet. By 1989 50 stores had been updated to reflect “an English feel”. In 2002 the average Victoria’s Secret store was 6,000 square feet.
International expansion [show]Victoria’s Secret Canada Stores 2011–2012
Map of Victoria’s Secret stores in the U.S., as of August 2011Up until the early 2000 management at Victoria’s Secret actively decided to not expand outside the United States. The drive to continue growing coupled with facing a maturing of the American retail market led to a change in that decision and to expand Victoria’s Secret outside the United States. Victoria’s Secret announced the company’s plan to expand into Canada in 2010. The company opened 23 stores stores in Canada with locations in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.
In November 2005, the company opened its first boutique in the UK at Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5 with the help of World Duty Free. This was followed in 2009 with six Victoria’s Secret Travel and Tourism stores residing within airports outside the United States.
Victoria’s Secret opened their first store located at the Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford, London on July 24, 2012. Their flagship 40,386 square-foot store on New Bond Street, London opened on August 29, 2012 and there will be further nationwide expansion across the UK. Victoria’s Secret executive vice president and chief administrative officer Martyn R Redgrave told WWD “That’s what we’re looking to do as we expand, in the U.K. in particular, and those will be company-owned and operated”.
International franchises In 2012 Victoria Secret’s expanded with franchises internationally.
The first franchise store in Latin America opened in Isla Margarita, Venezuela on June 25, 2010 followed by other stores in the country, and in Bogota, Colombia, in July 2012 selling beauty products and accessories. Angel’s Group, the Colombian company operating the franchise, is planning open 10 stores in Colombia. Victoria’s Secret is also planning on opening a store in the exclusive Multiplaza Mall in San Salvador, El Salvador.
In 2010 M.H. Alshaya Co. opened the first Victoria’s Secret store in the Middle East region in Bahrain Kuwait. M.H. Alshaya Co. operates the Victoria’s Secret franchise located in the Marina Mall selling products including “cosmetic and branded accessories, but it has left out the brand’s infamous lingerie line”.
The Brand’s first Caribbean store opened in November 2011 at Plaza Las Americas in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Two stores will also open in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic at the Agora,  (mainly selling beauty products and accessories) and Sambil Santo Domingo malls in August 2012 and October 2012, respectively.
The first Polish store is opening its doors in July 2012 at Złote Tarasy in Warsaw and will be operated by M.H. Alshaya Co. New Victoria’s Secrets shop open in July 24, 2012. This will be the first Victoria’s Secret franchise store in Europe, just a day before the new store in the United Kingdom. However, as this is a franchise store it sells just beauty and accessories, whereas the London stores are the first company owned European stores and sell Victoria’s Secret clothing.
Victoria’s Secret Direct Catalog [show]Victoria’s Secret Catalog 1982–2012
Year Millions Mailed Sales in Millions of U.S. Dollars
Prior to the emergence of e-commerce, the Victoria’s Secret’s catalogs provided both an informative and exciting experience in the comfort of the consumer’s home.
The catalog under Raymond’s leadership took the form of an upmarket version of Frederick’s of Hollywood lingerie catalog being more sensuous than the catalog published under the future leadership of The Limited. In 1982 the Victoria’s Secret catalog cost $3.
The New York Times reported that the Victoria’s Secret’s financial success catalogues’ influenced other catalogues who changed to present lingerie as “romantic and sensual but tasteful” “in which models are photographed in ladylike poses against elegant backgrounds.”
This led to Victoria’s Secret dominating the catalog field for “lingerie and sexy nightwear.” The catalogs allowed for consumers to review the entire spectrum of product offerings, along the axes of style, color and fabric. Victoria’s Secret accepted catalog orders via telephone 24 hours a day.
Catalog mailing rose for twenty years from 1978 peaking at 400 million mailings annually in 1998. From 1998 through to 2002 mailings declined to 350 million annually.
Victoria’s Secret’s catalog offers a more diverse range of merchandise.
The Los Angeles Times described the catalog in 2000 as having achieved “an almost cultlike following.”
e-commerce In 1995 Victoria’s Secret began building its e-commerce website which the company launched after three years of development at 6 p.m. December 4, 1998 using the url VictoriasSecret.com. Twenty minutes later the first order was placed on the website from a Littleton, Colorado customer at 6:20 p.m.
It was reported that the three year development was a result of the company’s concern of rolling out a half-baked website that could “discourage return visits”.
Viewers who logged onto the Victoria’s Secret’s website to view the company’s first webcast of their fashion show in February 3, 1999 were unable to view the webcast due to the internet infrastructure Victoria Secret’s selected was unable to meet user demand causing some users to be unable to view the webcast. 
A decade later in 2008 Victoria’s Secret launched their website in Spanish.
Launch of VS All Access website.
September 21, 2010 Victoria’s Secret launches a site redesigned by Concentric Studio incorporating greater social media channels for customers to connect via.
Victoria’s Secret Beauty The Limited, Inc in 1998 creates Intimate Beauty Corporation with a mandate to establish a group of beauty businesses with Victoria’s Secret Beauty being the first company in the firm’s portfolio.
In November 2012 Susie Coulter became president of Victoria’s Secret Beauty; the company’s beauty division located in New York City
Corporate affairs Name Prior to the 1982 sale the company’s business name was Victoria’s Secret, Inc. then afterwards the name was changed to Victoria’s Secret Stores, Inc. In 2005 the company changed to Victoria’s Secret Stores, LLC.
Ownership Victoria’s Secret was originally owned by “The Limited”. In 2002 Wexner reincorporated Victoria’s Secret into the Limited; previously Victoria’s Secret’s parent company was Intimate Brands a separately traded entity whose President was Ed Razek.
By 2006, 72% of Limited Brands’ revenue—and almost all of their profits—came from their Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works units.
On July 10, 2007, Victoria’s Secret parent company, Limited Brands, sold a 75% interest in their apparel brands, Limited Stores and Express to Sun Capital Partners to focus on expanding their Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works units. The immediate impact of the sale resulted in Limited Brands taking a $42 million after-tax loss.
Executives Victoria’s Secret Stores 1985 Howard Gross is promoted to president from vice president. In 1991 Grace Nichols replaced Gross as president of Victoria’s Secret Stores. Nichols previously had been “executive vice president and general merchandise manager of Limited’s lingerie division.”
1998 Cynthia A. Fields, is the president & chief executive of the company, (when it was a division of Intimate Brands Inc.)
Victoria’s Secret Direct In May 2000 Wexner installed Sharen Jester Turney who had previously worked at Neiman Marcus Direct, as the new chief executive of Victoria’s Secret Direct.
Victoria’s Secret Beauty 
Victoria’s Secret Beauty LogoIn May 2006 Christine Beauchamp was named president and CEO of Victoria’s Secret Beauty. Beauchamp was succeeded by Shashi Batra in 2009 who became president of Victoria’s Secret Beauty.
Robin Burns was C.E.O. of Victoria’s Secret Beauty.
Environmental record After two years of pressure from environmentalist groups, Victoria’s Secret’s parent firm and a conservation group have reached an agreement to make the lingerie retailer’s catalog more environmentally friendly in 2006. The catalog will no longer be made of pulp supplied from any woodland caribou habitat range in Canada, unless it has been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. The catalogs will also be made of 10 percent recycled paper.
The company buys organic and fair trade-grown cotton to make some of its panties.
Legal proceedings On March 4, 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Victoria’s Secret in Moseley v. V Secret Catalogue, Inc. that there must be proof of actual harm to the trademark.
Manufacturing In 2006 it was reported that Victoria’s Secret paid workers $7 per day to make bras for them in Thai factories.
One-tenth of all Victoria’s Secret’s brassieres are sourced via Intimate Fashions a manufacturer with factories in the South Indian city of Guduvanchery.
Controversies Further information: Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy
See 2012 Child Labor for Victoria’s Secret Cotton Examined by U.S.
See 2012 Victoria’s Secret sued by Zephyrs; “has been accused of breaching a 2001 agreement and selling cheap “knockoffs” of the company’s stockings.”
Criticism see Environmental record
see Photoshopping Criticism
In 2012 Victoria’s Secret drew criticism for a newly released lingerie collected titled: Go East whose tagline pledged to women the capacity to “indulge in touches of eastern delight with lingerie inspired by the exquisite beauty of secret Japanese gardens.” The collection included a mesh teddy “Sexy Little Geisha” featuring “flirty cutouts and Eastern-inspired florals”. The WSJ reported that the collection was “accessorized with a miniature fan and a kimono-esque obi sash.” Victoria’s Secret removed the Asian-themed collection “that traded in sexualized, generic pan-Asian ethnic stereotypes.”
Contributions to popular culture For most of the twentieth century department stores dominated the intimate apparel space. During this period shopping for undergarments was inconvenient as they were most commonly “hidden in the back of the store, in row after row of racks.” Victoria’s Secret reinvented the shopping experience for intimate apparel and is credited with “transforming lingerie from a slightly embarrassing taboo into an accessible, even routine accessory.”
During the 1990s Victoria’s Secret become a “mall destination” where woman went to “mimic Helena Christensen.
The Wall Street Journal in 1990 wrote that the Victoria’s Secret catalog whilst controversial had “pioneered sexy underwear as fashion”.
During the early 1990s the Wall Street Journal reported that “executives admit to carrying the catalog around with them to relieve the stress of busy days”.
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