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The Federalist’s Lame Attempt to Deflect Blame from Victoria’s Secrets Getting Woke, Going Broke January 11, 2023

Posted by geoff in News.
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[Been trying to stay off the blogging train, but sometimes you just can’t let things slide…]

Madeline Osborne of The Federalist assures us that:

No, Victoria’s Secret Isn’t Going Broke Because It Dropped The Angels For Fat Chicks

After Victoria’s Secret’s stock price plummeted last week and CEO Amy Hauk announced her departure after just eight months at the lingerie brand, conservative critics were quick to diagnose the company’s failures as a classic case of “go woke, go broke.”

It’s an easy, albeit lazy, argument to make…

Victoria’s Secret introduced its more “inclusive” rebrand campaign in 2021, … But blaming these “woke” changes that only happened less than a year and a half ago doesn’t add up when you consider the brand faced nearly identical leadership changes in 2018 and slumping sales since 2019

Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. But her argument is completely unsupported.

Take her sales link – what it really talks about is the decline of quarterly sales from one quarter to the next. It says nothing about annual sales in 2019 or any year since. Here are the facts, courtesy of a chart I copied from Statista:

So sales in 2019 were actually higher than the preceding two years, and were then followed by the disastrous COVID year of 2020. Sales didn’t fully recover in 2021, and the projection for 2022 is a mere $6.4 billion.

What’s all that mean? It means that Osborne’s narrative is nonsense. Sales had flattened from 2015 to 2019, but they weren’t declining. And it is striking that in 2021 and 2022, the years of increased wokeness, sales couldn’t break $7 billion.

She goes on to speculate that maybe the brand has become dowdy and vulnerable to competition. Could be, but she doesn’t provide any support for her musings. Finally, she assures us that there’s no way the American public will ever disassociate the Victoria’s Secret brand from hot models. Her evidence?

This is best illustrated by the fact that despite the company’s ongoing attempts at rebranding for several years now, one of the top viral TikTok songs of 2022 and a Billboard Top 100 song titled “Victoria’s Secret,” by the singer/songwriter Jax, is constantly played on pop stations as an anthem against “body shaming” and takes direct aim at the company.

Yup, her best piece of evidence is a popular song. I can assure Ms. Osborne that I personally have successfully disassociated the VS brand from hot models. Just as with the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, it wasn’t difficult.

It’s possible that the company’s pivot to woke hasn’t been responsible for the disastrous decline in sales, but it’s absolutely certain that it hasn’t increased sales.

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Comments»

1. vaitguy - January 11, 2023

By all means stay on the blogging train!

2. Jimbro - January 11, 2023

This post is the most I’ve thought about VS in years

3. geoff - January 11, 2023

I remember in my 20s we used to pore over the catalogs, but I haven’t seen one in 30 years.

4. skinbad - January 11, 2023

Yeah, the catalogs were of high interest in the teen years at our house. We even got a Fredericks of Hollywood once. I remember thinking, “Dang, this is trashy . . . and interesting.”


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