victorias secret Essay

4698 Words Nov 11th, 2013 19 Pages
I) Executive Summary
The history of lingerie can be traced back thousands of years to 3000 B.C., but it was not until 1977 when Roy Rogers founded Victoria’s Secret that lingerie evolved into what we think of now. In this paper, we examine the emergence of Victoria’s Secret as the leading retailer in women’s lingerie, the context for the innovation, and the approaches the firm took to commercialize the innovation. Victoria’s Secret was hardly the first lingerie retailer, but it was able to take advantage of a niche market demand, fortunate timing, and a well-sequenced ecosystem to become the market leader it is today. Our focus is on the period between 1977 when Roy Rogers first founded VS, through 1982 when he sold the company to The
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He was uncomfortable with the interaction with salespeople in department stores and thought that the product offering in such stores was undesirable. Roy borrowed $80,000 from a bank and relatives to implement his vision of an ideal lingerie store, one that would provide a comfortable environment for men.
The first store was opened in Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto. Roy envisioned a Victorian-boudoir theme for his store with wood-paneled walls and a helpful sales staff. Furthermore, instead of racks of bras and panties in every size, there were single styles, paired together and mounted on the wall in frames. Men could browse for styles for women and sales staff would help estimate the appropriate size, pulling from inventory in the back roomsxi. In the first year, the store generated half a million dollars in sales providing Raymond the funds to open three new stores and start a mail-order cataloguexii. The Victoria’s Secret catalogue was also a success, showcasing Roy’s growing collection of bras, panties, slips, and loungewear. The main rivals to Victoria’s Secret at this time were department stores such as Sears & Roebuck, other mail-order programs, and Fredericks of Hollywood. Although Fredericks sold similar products, the retailer had a darker edge that perhaps appealed to fewer people.
After five years of operation, Victoria’s Secret had grossed $6M in profit. However, Roy experienced difficulties

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