Victoria's Secret is closing down stores in Canada
Victoria's Secret has been quietly closing Canadian locations, and it's unclear how many more will be closed in 2020.
Over the past year, the American lingerie giant shut down operations in CF Sherway Gardens in Toronto, CF Richmond Centre near Vancouver, and CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa; its latest closure is CF Market Mall in Calgary.
In February 2019, the franchise announced it would close 53 stores across North America following a decrease in sales.
Victoria’s Secret’s closing 53 stores. Experts say Victoria’s Secret’s troubles came because they relied too heavily on push-up bras and celebrity models. But is it that weird that women didn’t want to shop at a store with the personality of a lecherous rich guy?— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) March 1, 2019
According to Darryl Schmidt, Vice President for National Leasing at Cadillac Fairview, the Calgary closure was unsurprising.
"We've been seeing this storm coming for a while," Schmidt said. "When we did that first tranche of business they thought that Victoria's Secret was going to be 10 to 15 stores in Canada. Then it was phenomenally successful and they wound up opening 40 plus stores. I think they cannibalized some of their own market share."
Victoria's Secret has notoriously struggled to retain customers in recent years.
Unlike inclusive brands such as Aerie and Savage x Fenty, Victoria's Secret has consistently refused to adapt to the current social climate; the company only introduced diverse models in October as part of its #loveyourself campaign.
Unsurprisingly, many customers weren't impressed by the delayed response.
Lmao since there’s a decline in sales you want to be diverse. Interesting 😊— Sbusiso Tshigabe (@SbuTshigabe) January 23, 2020
The brand is also losing customers over its insistence on using hypersexualized, male-oriented advertising in the era of #MeToo.
One thing that will forever piss me off is that Victoria’s Secret commercials are ALWAYS advertised towards men while saying they’re for woman!!!! Like no if you were actually advertising to women you’d be saying “this bra is so good you’ll feel like your boobs are in heaven”— 🌻emmy marie🌻 (@emmymariebright) March 19, 2019
And it didn't help that in 2018, the brand’s chief marketing officer Ed Razek was forced to retire from his role after making ill-judged comments in a Vogue interview about plus-size and transgender models.
don’t get it twisted. i am not bothered that Victoria’s Secret won’t cast Trans or Plus Sized models.— Nikita 𝖕𝖔𝖕𝖘𝖙𝖆𝖗 Dragun (@NikitaDragun) December 6, 2018
my issue is the fact that marketing chief Ed Razek believes “transsexuals” and plus sized models are not capable of selling the “fantasy”.
After losing a good chunk of their clientele, it's no secret that the lingerie company is struggling financially; in November 2019, the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show was cancelled after running annually for 20+ years.
On February 20, parent company L Brands took an even more drastic step by selling 55 per cent of Victoria's Secret to private equity firm Sycamore Partners for an estimated US $525 million.
"Victoria's Secret sold to private equity firm as CEO steps down amid scrutiny for Jeffrey Epstein ties"— Gerald O'Dwyer (@geraldodwyer) February 24, 2020
"Victoria's Secret, the troubled lingerie brand owned by L Brands, is being sold to..."https://t.co/KkIxfXtSrT#Brands #PrivateEquity https://t.co/xcL5iv2oVx
Although Victoria's Secret is still valued at a cool $1.1 billion and is unlikely to shut its doors anytime soon, customers should brace themselves for a possible depletion of Canadian locations in the near future.
With Canadian greeting card giants Carlton Cards and Papyrus both closing their doors in January, retail stores are facing a tough time in the current economy — and nobody is immune to the effects.
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