Victoria's Secret customers are ditching the brand because they say prices are too high and the brand feels 'fake'

Victoria's secret modelsEthan Miller/Getty Images for Full PictureModels Heidi Klum and Karolina Kurkova fight over a bra at the Victoria’s Secret store in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 19, 2007.

Victoria’s Secret is struggling.

The brand’s parent company, L Brands, has posted weak sales for four straight quarters, and the stock has plunged 45% over the last year.

Customers say they’re shopping at Victoria’s Secret less and less, and many don’t plan to go back anytime soon.

In a consumer survey that Wells Fargo Securities outlined in a recent note to clients, 48% of Victoria’s Secret shoppers said they had shopped there less in the past year.

The biggest reason they cited was high prices, with 58% of those who had shopped less naming it as their reason for staying away. A Wells Fargo price study found that Victoria’s Secret bras typically sell for a 50% premium over competitors’.

A whopping 68% of consumers who had shopped less said they like the brand less than they used to, and 60% said they think the brand feels “forced” or “fake.”

The Wells Fargo analysts noted that popular culture now focuses more on authenticity and body positivity, a trend that competitors like Aerie have capitalised on.

“That the VS brand feels ‘forced/fake’ to some may be a reaction to this shift in cultural sentiment, and while other brands have been able to use this to their advantage, it appears that VS may be lagging the trend,” they wrote.

Victoria’s Secret has exited the clothing and swimwear space over the last year and a half, putting more energy into sports bras and beauty products. The analysts warn this could be “alienating” their core customers, and don’t expect Victoria’s Secret to make a turnaround for a while.

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