Victoria’s Secret Won’t Be Stuffing Your Mailbox With “Free Panty” Coupons Anymore

Image courtesy of (alecm9311)

In the past year, the powers that be at L Brands — the parent company of Victoria’s Secret – have rolled out a number of planned changes: shilling more sports bras, ditching swimwear, and relying on its print catalog less. Now comes news that the company’s ever-present coupons promising a “free panty” will no longer be showing up to a mailbox near you. 

The Washington Post reports that the freebie — once meant as a way to get customers in the door to buy more expensive bras and lingerie — just isn’t working, with about 40% of customers who redeem the coupon failing to purchase anything else in the store.

Another reason the ubiquitous “free panty” parade is ending? It’s cheapening the brand, according to Stuart Burgdoerfer, chief financial officer of L Brands.

Burgdoerfer laid out the problems with the promotion last week during an investors presentation, noting that the company is now rethinking its discount strategy; perhaps that means offering promotions less frequently or focusing on one specific sales at a time.

For now, the Post reports, the company will continue to focus on items like sports bras or beauty products — another area the retailer is revamping.

Other ideas the company is taking a long hard look at include apparel. By stepping away from its catalog, it’s essentially ditching its apparel focus, and that might not be a bad thing, because it wasn’t setting the retailer apart from competitors. Or as Burgdoerfer put it, anyone can sell Uggs, but why should Victoria’s Secret?

His opinion? It shouldn’t, asking, “Does that really tie to the Victoria’s Secret brand?”

Despite the changes, the retailer is far from facing dire straights, as the Post, citing data from market research firm Euromonitor, reports that Victoria’s Secret captured 32% of the bra and panties market last year. That’s light years-ahead of the next company, Fruit of the Loom, with just 5.5% of the market.

No more ‘free panty’ deals, no more Uggs: Big changes are afoot at Victoria’s Secret [The Washington Post]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.