Will Adore Me bring love to Victoria’s Secret?

Discussion
Photos: Adore Me
Nov 07, 2022

Victoria’s Secret & Co. (VS&Co.) has agreed to buy Adore Me, the digital-first intimates brands, for $400 million. The acquisition is expected to provide a technology boost, a new growth vehicle and perhaps some goodwill.

On the technology side, Adore Me is expected to bring its “Home Try-On” and monthly subscription service to the Victoria’s Secret and PINK brands. With a $20 styling fee, Adore Me subscribers receive four to seven lingerie and loungewear items monthly and only pay for what they keep.

Adore Me is also expected to accelerate the modernization of VS&Co’s digital platform to bring “technology to the forefront of everything we do.”

As a growth vehicle, Adore Me, with sales forecast to reach $240 million in 2022, is expected to provide a platform to target the value segment where VS&Co currently doesn’t participate.

With only six stores, Adore Me’s brick and mortar expansion could be significantly sped up. Victoria’s Secret has also made adding new brands to its portfolio, organically or through investments, a priority to “enhance its customer and category reach and access new capabilities.” In March, Victoria’s Secret acquired a minority stake in Los Angeles-based swimwear brand Frankies Bikinis and in May it introduced a new platform called VS&Co-Lab on its website that features third-party brands.

Founded in 2011, Adore Me is profitable and has a “young, diverse, and inclusive customer base with over 1.2 million active customers,” according to VS&Co. Beyond value pricing, Adore Me stands out as a leader in extended sizes, offering 77 sizes. Adore Me is also the only B Corp Certified lingerie brand based in the U.S.

Adore Me’s affiliation may also help with Victoria’s Secret’s awkward transition from a brand built around sex appeal to one embracing inclusivity and women’s empowerment.

Morgan Hermand, Adore Me’s founder and CEO who will continue to lead the brand, said in a statement, “We have significantly grown our business over the past decade, and are excited to bring our technology, purchase experiences, inclusive assortment, brand and team to join the next phase of Victoria’s Secret’s growth and customer journey transformation.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is the Adore Me acquisition a good fit for Victoria’s Secret & Co.? Will the acquisition help assist in Victoria’s Secret’s image makeover?

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Braintrust
"Adore Me is exactly the shot in the arm they need to tighten up their multi-channel strategies and generate new energy among leadership, front-line staff and customers."

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7 Comments on "Will Adore Me bring love to Victoria’s Secret?"


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Neil Saunders
BrainTrust

Victoria’s Secret is trying to claw back the market share it lost over the past decade. Part of that is being done through a reinvention of the core brand, making it more inclusive. However this is taking time to deliver. Enter Adore Me, which is complementary to Victoria’s Secret and will help give access to different consumers and parts of the market. There are definitely synergies here – especially behind the scenes, but my view is that distance needs to remain between Adore Me and Victoria’s Secret. The latter is still somewhat tarnished by its history.

DeAnn Campbell
BrainTrust

It may look like they are trying to leapfrog into a more inclusive brand image, which they are, but a more important aspect of this merger is the e-commerce expertise and fresh design thinking Adore Me will bring to a long-time retailer saddled with some legacy processes and systems. Prior to this merger Victoria’s Secret was already taking their head out of the ’80s and gaining some ground with new shoppers. Adore Me is exactly the shot in the arm they need to tighten up their multi-channel strategies and generate new energy among their leadership, their front-line staff and their customers.

David Slavick
BrainTrust

The fit is obvious. So long as VS&Co doesn’t mess with success it will be a good thing and fuel Adore Me growth. Maintain the Adore Me branding and positioning along with the uniqueness of its style and size options. Cross-brand acquisition is in the cards for this type of synergy along with manufacturing efficiencies which will help improve an already attractive margin on goods sold in this space.

Melissa Minkow
BrainTrust

I’m really curious to see how this pans out. It’s smart of Victoria’s Secret to do, but finding the overlap between the brands and new opportunities for each will be interesting to watch. This will have to be handled carefully.

Liz Crawford
BrainTrust

I think women are a little savvier than we give them credit for. Shoppers today are looking for transparency and authenticity. They will see through this ploy to win back customers. It’s from the same people who brought us the million-dollar diamond bra worn by supermodels. So – that’s a no.

Jasmine Glasheen
BrainTrust

The Adore Me acquisition is a great way for Victoria’s Secret to reach next-gens. With that said, what VS really needs is some positive press around the brand’s influence on society and the planet.

Victoria’s Secret still has a nasty reputation and I don’t see the collaboration with Adore Me fixing it. The brand needs to give back in big, public ways to actually alter the current momentum.

Mohamed Amer, PhD
BrainTrust

Since L Brands spun off Victoria’s Secret, the company initiated a massive rebranding with a new board of six women and one man. To reposition from objectifying women to creating the VS Collective, the company must deliver a more diverse and size-inclusive brand value proposition. Sales fell last quarter, and layoffs were announced in July. The move to acquire Adore Me is a strategically consistent move that will increase capabilities and future growth. Repositioning brands is risky and requires significant and effective marketing. VS&Co. faces an uphill battle, but it’s one it chose to survive and thrive. They’re on the right path.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Adore Me is exactly the shot in the arm they need to tighten up their multi-channel strategies and generate new energy among leadership, front-line staff and customers."

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