US-based fashion and beauty retailer Victoria’s Secret has revealed plans to pilot a new off-mall store format later this year.
Next month, the retailer’s parent company, L Brands, will spin it off into a separate public entity, Victoria’s Secret and Co, having held talks with potential buyers earlier in the year.
The new store format was announced by Victoria’s Secret and Co CEO Martin Waters during a virtual investor presentation.
The concept, described as a ‘store of the future’, will be launched at three locations, including an off-mall strip centre.
Next year, the company will launch ten more test locations, most of which will be off-mall.
The move is understood to be part of the retailer’s plans to stop operating from traditional shopping malls.
In the presentation, Mr Waters said: “We can take advantage of the traffic that’s in those clearance and off-mall locations. It’s about a flexible environment where we can move merchandise around based on what’s selling best and selling less.
“We were marketing the brand in a way that, frankly, was tone-deaf and starting to become, if [it was] not already, culturally irrelevant.”
Of the US mall landscape, Mr Waters said: “There is downward pressure from around 150 vulnerable malls, and we expect that those malls will continue to be vulnerable for about three years.”
Victoria’s Secret is currently renovating its existing locations to make them more attractive to customers, such as by replacing existing black fixtures with white and light-wood tones.
The retailer has also started using mannequins in extended sizes to showcase its bras and underwear in an effort to promote body positivity.
Apparel maker Gap recently shared plans to move away from malls after revealing that 80% of its sales were coming from off-mall outlets, including e-commerce, strip centres and street-level locations.