Speaking on parent company L Brands quarterly earnings call, CFO Stuart Burgdoerfer officially confirmed what has been widely speculated for months: The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which has aired on national TV since 2001, is officially – and entirely — canceled. Burgdoerfer said that the company wants to “evolve the marketing” of its signature brand, whose downward trajectory continued in its most recent quarter with a 7% drop in same-store sales.
“We will be communicating to customers, but nothing that I would say is similar in magnitude to the fashion show,” said Burgdoerfer.
L Brands has been working to turn around its struggling Victoria’s Secret brand, which has struggled to find its footing as consumers increasingly opt for lingerie brands that emphasize comfort, inclusive sizing and diversity, such as ThirdLove, Lively and American Eagle’s Aerie. The over-the-top fashion show, famous for its parade of skinny, bejeweled supermodels outfitted in provocative lingerie and giant angel wings, was emblematic of just how of touch Victoria’s Secret had become with today’s consumers, according to many industry observers.
The viewing audiences for the show has plunged in the last few years. The first outing attracted some 12 millions viewers. In 2017, it had just under 5 million viewers, down 32% from the previous year. In 2018, viewership was down to 3.27 million, a record low.