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Target takes on Victoria's Secret



Target


TGT 0.31%

launches new lines of underwear and sleeping clothes, becoming the latest retail battle to challenge market leader Victoria's Secret.

Victoria's Secret has long dominated the intimate market with images of supermodels in push-up bras listed at prices up to about $ 60, but a shift in consumer preferences towards more natural looks and less structured garments – such as sports bras and bralettes – has made it easier for retailers and online sellers to compete.

Goals next month will launch three brands to sell women's bras, lingerie and pajamas as it expects to turn over $ 1

billion in revenue in a year. Some of the sales come from eliminating Gilligan & O & # 39; Malley, the existing brand of lingerie and sleep. Goals said that all new bras will cost less than $ 22 and include plus sizes.

Amazon.com
Inc.,

which in 2017 launched its own line of underwear called Mae, selling private label bras at prices mostly between $ 10 and $ 22.

Victoria's Secret also faces competition at the upper end of the market, where Startup run by social media and e-purchases, including ThirdLove and Lively, has been pitching itself as more natural or inclusive options.

Sale on

American Eagle Outfitters
Inc.s

The lingerie, Aerie, has risen since the youth dealer stopped airbrushing their ads and began to have various models. Adore Me, which began as a start of e-commerce, but lately has opened stores near Victoria's Secret locations, said about one-third of its revenue comes from plus sizes.

Popular bra styles are now often without an underwire or metal strip used to create structured or push-up bras. According to data from the NPD Group, sales of wirefree bras increased 10% in 2018, while underwire good sales fell 8%. The market research firm also said that sales of intimate clothing were reduced by 3% last year, while online sales increased by 7%.

  Victoria's Secret accounts for about a quarter of the US market for women's underwear, more than four times the proportion of No. 2 competitor.

Victoria's Secret accounts for about a quarter of the US women's underwear market, more than four times the proportion of No. 2 competitor.


Photo:

Robert Alexander / Getty Images

Victoria's Secret has been trying to adapt by selling more sports glasses and styles that emphasize comfort, but the brand has been marking to drive traffic to its stores and websites. The company recently replaced the Lingerie CEO, retrieved catalog prints and plagued a new bathing suit collection after deciding to eliminate the category more than two years ago.

In an effort to win over new underwear customers, Target said it would launch a marketing campaign with women with various organs, ages and ethnic groups. The company said it also avoids airbrushed images, as previously done with swimwear advertising.

Target said more than 40% of their new bras will be wirefree and plan to create dedicated parts on their website and in stores for the new brands. The site will also have a tool to help women find their fit for bras. Over the past three years, the company has launched 25 private brand brands and some clothing labels have exceeded more than $ 1 billion in sales during the first year.

"The timing is right," said Mark Tritton, Target's chief. "Consumer preferences in these categories have evolved, the industry has changed, and we have created a lot of speed in our broader clothing business."

Target's new intimate labels appear to match the brand strategy used by Victoria's Secret Parents

L Brands
Inc.


LB 1.12%

The target's new underwear line Auden is aimed at women who shop at Victoria's Secret. Wallet brand Colsie is aimed at buyers of PINK, L Brands & L39; underwear label for younger women. The company also launches another brand of sleepwear called Stars Above.

Target's marketing and store display has enabled more successful brands to be launched than Amazon, which has listed dozens of private label brands online, said Juozas Kaziukėnas, founder of Marketplace Pulse, a business information company focused on e-commerce. "Amazon's strategy has worked for cheap generic items such as batteries, but not for something as intimate as underwear," he said. Amazon refused to comment.

Compared sales at Victoria's Secret, which includes the sale of digital and the same store, fell 3% in the fourth quarter and fell 2% in 2018. The company also said it plans to reduce its annual dividend in half, as Beginning with March Payout.

Meanwhile, the underwear retailer is still married to his traditional marketing. Last year, in a Vogue interview, L Brands's marketing director Ed Razek said he did not believe that Victoria's Secret fashion show should include transgender models, which led to customer and celebrity social media setbacks. He later gave an apology. The TV show of the fashion show has declined in recent years.

Victoria's Secret still accounts for about a quarter of the US women's underwear market, more than four times the proportion of No. 2 competitor, according to Euromonitor. [19659006] "If you ask someone, Victoria's Secret is dead, and their marketing is an object of the past, but they sell many bras with the same marketing that everyone finds so impenetrable," said Simeon Siegel, a nomination instinct analyst covering retail. "At over $ 3 billion in underwear sales, someone still buys the product."

Write to Khadeeja Safdar at khadeeja.safdar@wsj.com


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