: Victoria’s Secret swaps ‘sultry’ for ‘comfort’ with latest collection and analysts say the rebrand is working

Victoria’s Secret & Co.’s latest line, the Love Cloud Collection launching on Thursday, will focus on “all-day comfort,” the company said, further separating the lingerie brand from its previous “very sexy” reputation.

Love Cloud includes “smoothing” technology and adjustable straps in the collection’s design, intended to feel “light as a cloud” and enhance flexibility.

The collection includes six styles including a sports bra and a push-up plunge bra in sizes 32A to 40DDD, as well underwear sized XS to XXL. Prices start at $39.50 for bras and $16.50 for bottoms.

“Love Cloud was built to be an elevated wardrobe essential to help find comfort in any day-to-day lifestyle,” the company said.

The launch will be accompanied by a marketing campaign featuring a diverse cast of 18 spokesmodels, including a firefighter and fitness professional.

See: E-commerce doubles in January compared to 2019, apparel shows strength, says Mastercard SpendingPulse data

The news is the latest step in an ongoing Victoria’s Secret rebrand that has included the creation of a VS Collective with members like U.S. soccer player Megan Rapinoe; actor, producer and author Priyanka Chopra Jonas; and Paloma Elsesser, a model and body-positive advocate; and the end of the brand’s televised fashion show, once a ratings blockbuster.

Victoria’s Secret separated from Bath & Body Works Inc. BBWI last year. Together, the two businesses once made up the L Brands portfolio.

BofA Securities says the rebrand is working.

“Compared to pre-COVID, respondents had fewer complaints about Victoria’s Secret (VS) and liked it more than before,” analysts wrote in a report published last week containing the findings from its latest bra survey.

People wore bras of all kinds less during the past two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. With life tiptoeing back toward normal, bras will again become a part of everyday wear for many.

“As consumers return to work and more normalized social behavior, we expect a structured and strapless bra refresh, which should help drive both unit and average ticket growth,” the report said.

“Victoria’s Secret’s resumption of bra launches is a key strategic change and is crucial to building share. Bras with technical advantages that provide comfort and support should be an area of strength.”

For those who responded to the BofA survey saying they like Victoria’s Secret more this year than last year, improved brand image was a top reason for the shift. Better product quality was another.

“We view this as indicative of the effectiveness of Victoria’s Secret’s brand overhaul and strategy of elevating its product offering,” analysts said.

Victoria’s Secret is still facing competition from brands like Aerie, the American Eagle Outfitters Inc.

underwear brand focused on branding and marketing that relates to its young customers, and Amazon.com Inc.
which has become the top clothing seller in the U.S.

“[T]he pandemic drove higher demand for comfortable types of bras such as sport, T-shirt, and lounge bras and sleepwear,” BofA’s report said.

Also: ‘Amazon is not a monopoly’: Earnings show Amazon must rely on alternative businesses, analyst says

“Since basic bras are less specialized, more respondents felt comfortable purchasing on Amazon. Victoria’s Secret is still the top specialty retailer, but this year for the first time the percentage of responses shopping at Victoria’s Secret (34%) was only slightly higher than Amazon (33%); in contrast, Victoria’s Secret had a 5% share lead on Amazon in our 2019 survey.”

BofA rates Victoria’s Secret stock buy with an $85 price objective.

Victoria’s Secret stock has rallied 18.4% over the last three months while the benchmark S&P 500 index

has slipped 5.6% for the period.

This post was originally published on Market Watch

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