London welcomed the first of two of the famous US branded lingerie stores, Victoria’s Secret today, as they opened a store in East London, Stratford, near to the London 2012 Olympics. Another Victoria’s Secret store will open in a couple of weeks time in New Bond Street, which will be the flagship store and will be accompanied by the brands obligatory ‘Angels’. Experts in the lingerie industry have suggested that the Victoria’s Secret stores may inject some much needed interest into the flagging market. One such company, Verdict Research, who are leading retail analysts, believe that the US company will be able to compete very favorably against their UK competitors, as consumers here are already aware of the brand. Victoria’s Secret have also been careful in where they have placed their stores, the first smack bang in the middle of the Olympics, the second in amongst the label conscious stores such as Abercrombie & Fitch.
So should stores such as La Senza be worried? It is thought that Victoria’s Secret will be competing against the higher end of the market, with lines targeting the very successful Calvin Klein and Elle Macpherson Intimates Range. But will the transition across the pond be smooth or will some aspects of Victoria’s Secret be lost in translation? If you know anything about Victoria’s Secret, you’ll already know they adore the colour pink, they use incredibly beautiful spokeswomen to model and front their campaigns, such as the likes of Miranda Kerr, Gisele Bundchen and Heidi Klum, and they call these ladies ‘Angels’. Of course it is not implicit in their advertising that we can all look like these supermodels if we buy Victoria’s Secret products, but with ranges called ‘Bombshell’ and ‘Show-stopper’, which have one mission in mind, to raise your advantage to a possible two cup sizes, we can but dream. And check out the ‘panties’ range, called ‘Cheekies’, which show off your bottom cheeks, to ‘Hip-huggers’, which cover them up somewhat.
There is also a younger PINK range, with Swedish beauty Elsa Hosk fronting the line. The range is super flirty, fun and is bursting with bright colours, and if you are a slim size, you might even fit into some of the collection. Victoria’s Secret not only do fabulous underwear and lingerie, they produce sleepwear, clothing, swimwear and beauty products as well. And to commemorate their launch in London, they have created a special limited edition scent, ‘Victoria’s Secret London’, a lively, fruity floral scent, which is a mix of violet leaves, mandarin and neroli flower, inspired by the ‘beauty and romance of the city’. Victoria’s Secret was created by Ray Raymond, who wanted an environment in which men could feel comfortable buying lingerie for their partners without embarrassment. He opened five stores and gained moderate success before selling the business for £2.6 million. The brand went on to become an American best seller and Raymond failed to recreate his former success; eventually he became depressed and took his own life. A sad end to the man who started it all.