Lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret sent a memo to its employees Friday, in which L Brands CEO Les Wexner said it is “rethinking” its annual fashion show. CNBC was able to obtain this memo, in which Wexner said that network television is no longer the “right fit” for the event, though it’s been broadcast on ABC and CBS for nearly 20 years.
“For the past few months, we’ve said that we are taking a fresh look at every aspect of our business – from merchandising, marketing and brand positioning, to our real estate portfolio, digital business and cost structure … literally everything. We have made enormous progress in a very short time, and are looking forward to a successful fall and holiday with an elevated, fashion-forward assortment …” Wexner said in the memo.
“Going forward we don’t believe network television is the right fit. In 2019 and beyond, we’re focusing on developing exciting and dynamic content and a new kind of event – delivered to our customers on platforms that she’s glued to … and in ways that will push the boundaries of fashion in the global digital age,” he said.
The last fashion show that was televised in December had the worst ratings in broadcast history as viewership for the show has been declining. Victoria’s Secret has also been faced with more criticism from women for targeting slim supermodels for its lingerie.
“Fashion is a business of change. We must evolve and change to grow,” Wexner said.
Due to a decrease in sales, the Columbus, Ohio-headquartered company recently reintroduced its swimwear at Victoria’s Secret, which it initially pulled out of in 2016, costing the company $500 million in annual revenues. In addition, it also began closing more stores annually, in hopes of cutting costs and investing more into new products.