Victoria's Secret uses one advantage to kill its competitors

Victoria’s Secret rules the lingerie industry.

The brand controls 40% of the intimate apparel market, according to industry research firm NPD. No other retailer comes close.

Victoria’s Secret is so successful because it outsmarted competitors using one distinct advantage, consultant Judith Russell writes on retail website The Robin Report.

The specialty brand focuses on lingerie in a way its department store competitors can’t, according to Russell.

This means offering better designs, hiring top talent, and making customers feel like “they’re shopping in a supermodel’s boudoir.”

Victoria’s Secret also has the resources to better train its staff to help with recommendations and fit.

Its stores are full of pink accents and soft lighting. Bras of different sizes are available in dresser drawers, as massive photos of supermodels stand watch.

By contrast, department stores tend to have the bras neatly hung from wire racks under harsh fluorescent lighting. Store associates are often responsible for other departments and don’t have the resources to focus on lingerie.

The brand’s marketing strategy of using “angels” also helps customers relate to the retailer.

Because Victoria’s Secret is a specialty brand, it can offer a better experience than existing competitors.

But as wholesalers like Adore Me move into the space, Victoria’s Secret will have to keep working to convince customers it is best in business.

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