Nov. 22 (UPI) -- Lingerie retailer Victoria's Secret will not televise its annual fashion show this year, parent company L Brands announced, citing low ratings and declining sales.
The prime-time television program has, for 24 years, been a holiday season focus for the brand, which has used the high-profile setting as promotion. Featuring elaborate costuming, music and set design, it has highlighted the world's foremost fashion models wearing Victoria's Secret products. The fashion show has been called anti-feminist by several publications, including Cosmopolitan and The Guardian. in 2018, its television ratings were its lowest ever.
The announcement came on Wednesday in an earnings call which noted that Victoria's Secret earnings, gross margin, store sales and online sales declined significantly in the third quarter. Sales of the Pink brand, aimed at younger female customers, also declined. Operating income showed a loss of $81.1 million, although Bath & Body Works, another L Brand retail brand, saw an 11 percent improvement in sales compared to last year.
In March it was suggested by stockholder Barington Capital Group that L Brand should "take swift action to to improve the performance of Victoria's Secret, by, among other things, correcting past merchandising mistakes and ensuring that Victoria's Secret is communicating a compelling, up-to-date brand image that resonates with today's consumers." It suggested a spinoff of Victoria's Secret and a public offering of Bath & Body Works stock.