One of the continuing themes in 'bricks and mortar retail v. eCommerce' is the gauging of how well positioned each channel is, relative to the overall mission. Columbus, Ohio's Victoria's Secret is the number one brand in apparel retail according to Brandkey's customer loyalty engagement index.
A look at the data will reveal that while comparable sales were up 1% in Q1, analysts were expecting a 4.8% increase. A closer look reveals that in the month of April, comparable in-store sales fell 1%. The stock is now trading at ~ $69.50/share, down $10 in just a few days. This is not a bricks and mortar is a bad investment piece. Victoria's Secret is the top of the heap when it comes to the practice of attracting new and repeat business to physical doors.
One thing to study, however, is their approach to eCommerce in a market that is swiftly changing around them. Younger startups are using data to bolster eComm bra / panties sales. You can read more here.
Victoria's Secret's challenges mirror those of most brick-and-mortar retailers. Consumers increasingly prefer to order goods online. Even when they are in stores, they window shop from their smartphones. And as VS has focused on competing in swimwear and in athleisure, younger companies have inched closed the wide margin between them and the Queen of lingerie.
In 2008, Victoria's Secret had a very public breakup with N2N - a now defunct eCommerce dev house - who botched an early eCommerce launch. Enterprise eCommerce has always been an issue for legacy brands like VS. Brick and Mortar companies like Dick's Sporting Goods are also decreasing in comparable sales (and foot traffic). However, they are accounting for this drop by increasing eCommerce productivity for a net positive gain in business.
It is a tricky proposition to address but it's clear that there are basic problems that can be addressed by their amazing teams that can help them address digital marketing and omnichannel woes.
2PML'ers: respond to this letter to be one of the (5) added to a 4 PM EST Talkshow on the above topic.