Victoria’s Secret is launching a new online-only private brand in April called Happy Nation. The brand will feature bras, panties and comfortable clothing for pre-teen girls.
CEO Martin Waters, speaking yesterday on the retailer’s earnings call, did not offer much detail on the new line except to say it would go live next month and pointed analysts to the brand’s home page.
Mr. Waters, asked if plans were in place to roll out Happy Nation in stores, said, “Well, never say never, but we are deliberately just teasing you with Happy Nation and saying, coming soon, we’re going to say more about it in April.”
He said that the company would provide more details on its next earnings call as to how the brand is performing and reveal intentions concerning its rollout. Mr. Waters expressed optimism about Happy Nation’s prospects based on Pink’s success in the teen market.
“It’s a natural adjacency for us. And we’re also leveraging our knowledge and beauty to create a really young beauty business in Happy Nation that we think could be incredibly exciting,” he said.
Victoria’s Secret has been engaged in a rebranding campaign to position itself as a more inclusive company “where all customers are welcome,” said Mr. Waters.
The rebranding, that has included images of pregnant women, a transexual Black woman and a model with Down Syndrome, is gaining traction. The company added new customers in 2021, its first standalone year following its spin off from Limited Brands.
Mr. Waters said that concerns raised about the retailer abandoning its long-running Angels campaign came largely from men and not its core female customers.
“We don’t hear about it now. Social media posts are overwhelmingly positively received. And I think the haters have gone away,” said Mr. Waters.
Rebranding hasn’t meant a complete rejection of the chain’s heritage.
“Some of our best-selling items are in the collections that are most provocative. Valentine’s Day is a holiday that we celebrate and we own, and we’re unashamedly sexy at that time of the year,” he said. “But we can do other things as well. And I hope you’ll see that when we launch Mother’s Day, in a few weeks’ time, which I think is about one of the best campaigns that we’ve ever launched.”