Victoria's Secret could be heading for a crisis as angry customers flood its Facebook page with complaints about 'shoddily made' lingerie

Business Insider/Mary HanburyCustomers say the quality of Victoria’s Secret’s products is not what it once was.
  • Victoria’s Secret has been struggling recently. Sales have slipped, and it has been accused of alienating customers with its racy ads.
  • On Wednesday, parent company L Brands reported that Victoria’s Secret’s same-store sales were down 1% in the second quarter of 2018. In a call with investors, L Brands’ CFO said that 20 Victoria’s Secret stores would close this year.
  • Several shoppers have taken to social media in recent months to complain that the quality of its products and customer service has also slipped.
  • Some customers who say they have stayed loyal to the brand for over a decade are now saying they will no longer shop there.

Victoria’s Secret is on a bad run – sales have slipped, and its provocative ads are being criticised by some as tone-deaf in the era of #MeToo.

As a result, more body-positive brands such as American Eagle’s Aerie have knocked America’s legacy lingerie brand off its pedestal and stolen away market share. In a call with investors on Thursday, Stuart Burgdoerfer, CFO of parent company L Brands, said that Victoria’s Secret would be closing 20 stores this year. Six stores have already closed this year, while the company plans to open three.

Beyond these marketing issues, however, lies an even bigger problem with the company. Customers have been speaking out on social media in recent months to complain that the quality of the retailer’s products and the service that they receive in stores are slipping.

“Their quality has declined while their prices increase. This does not keep customers,” one customer wrote on Facebook on Thursday.

“I used to love this place … until the underwear I bought fell apart after two gentle washes,” another shopper complained on Victoria’s Secret’s Facebook page in July.

“You changed the manufacturing of one of the best bras I’ve ever worn. Your full coverage bra with underwire was an amazingly comfortable bra until you ruined it with cheap construction and thin fabrics. But, of course, the price remained the same,” another wrote.

PinkBusiness Insider/Mary Hanbury‘I’m done buying PINK and Victoria’s Secret clothing. Stop raising prices and lowering quality,’ a customer wrote on the company’s Facebook page.

Unfortunately, these quality complaints don’t seem to be limited to Victoria’s Secret’s lingerie, as several shoppers are complaining that its teen brand, Pink, also has some quality problems.

“Bought 3 different pairs of pants in less than a year, and all 3 had defective seams and were torn after a couple of washes on the ‘Delicate’ cycle of my washer,” one customer complained on Facebook.

Another shopper explained how a pair of Pink leggings ripped at the seams after she had worn them twice. She said she bought them again, twice, after which both pairs ripped in just a few months.

Victoria’s Secret did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on how it would be responding to these complaints or whether it had changed its manufacturer.

It’s not just quality – customer-service complaints are also frequent on Victoria’s Secret’s review page on Facebook. As a result, some shoppers who say they have stayed loyal to the brand for over a decade are now saying they won’t be anymore.

“I have been a customer for over 14 years, but can’t do it anymore. Your product quality has severely worsened. The last straw was ordering items from the semi-annual sale, you put me on back order for items, then canceled it over two weeks later,” one customer wrote on Facebook. “I typically don’t rate businesses so poorly, but I had to.”

Another customer wrote: “Just wanted to let you know Victoria, that your REAL secret is out: Your stores are understaffed, your lingerie is being ever more shoddily made, and your sales associates vacillate between disinterested, openly hostile, and completely inept.”

Discontent towards the brand has been brewing.In April, new data from brand-insights firm YouGov showed that women’s perception of Victoria’s Secret has seen a slight decline since 2013.Its so-called “Buzz score,” which tracks how customers feel about brands based on what they see and hear, has declined as Victoria’s Secret has lost favour with women between the ages of 18 and 49.

If you’re a Victoria’s Secret employee with a story to share, contact this reporter at [email protected]

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