As Victoria’s Secret clings to what one critic called (paywall) an esthetic “that is white, worked-out, boob-centric and essentially about naughty maid role play in the bedroom,” a new rush of competitors are appealing to the growing portion of women underwear shoppers who are looking instead for comfort, natural looks, and body positivity. The latest of these suitors is Target, which plans to launch new lines of sleepwear and lingerie next month, according to the Wall Street Journal (paywall).
Like many of Victoria’s Secret’s new competitors, Target told the Journal that its marketing campaign for the three new lines will feature women who are physically and racially diverse. More than 40% of its bras will be wireless, an increasingly popular style that contrasts with the structured push-up bras that Victoria’s Secret flaunts at its annual fashion show.
Target plans to price the bras, underwear, and pajamas in its new lines at $22 and under, similar to the price point of Amazon’s lingerie line, Mae, which launched in 2017. As Target launches Auden (lingerie), Colsie (loungewear), and Stars Above (sleepwear), it will end its current line of undergarments and sleepwear, Gilligan & O’Malley. It expects the three new brands to bring in $1 billion within a year, according to the Journal.
Over the last decade, Victoria’s Secret has faced new competition not only from new lines by established stores like Amazon, American Eagle—whose sub-brand Aeire sells affordable lingerie, lounge, and activewear aimed at young women—and now Target, but also from body-positive upstarts such as ThirdLove and Chromat. In the meantime, the dominant lingerie brand’s parent company has watched its sales decline, slashed prices, replaced Victoria Secret’s CEO, and started closing stores.
Victoria’s Secret is clearly in trouble. It is also still clearly the dominant women’s underwear brand—owning almost one-third of the market—and it’s putting up a fight: The brand is planning to relaunch its years-dormant swimwear line this year and has been adding more “sport” styles.