A former Victoria’s Secret employee told us that workers at her Chicago-area store were trained to treat male customers differently from female ones.
“The general feeling about men is that they would buy anything in order to get out of the store as quickly as possible,” the worker, who wished to remain anonymous, told us. “That means they would spend more money.”
While workers tell women about promotions like 5 for $US25 panties, they are more likely to sell men full-priced merchandise, the worker said.
“Women are more value-oriented, and so we were encouraged to show them deals,” she said. “Men would buy a couple of $US50 bras without questioning us because they felt awkward.”
The competitive landscape in stores meant that associates would often fight over male customers.
Victoria’s Secret managers use headsets to communicate with workers and encourage them to make sales goals.
“We would always be reminded of how much we needed to sell, and so when a man walked in, it felt like a lucky break,” she said.
The founder of Victoria’s Secret created the company as a place where men could buy lingerie for their wives without feeling awkward.
Today, the company controls a whopping 35% of the lingerie market — a remarkable feat for a specialty retail brand.
Several retailers — from teen powerhouse American Eagle, to start-ups like AdoreMe — have tried to compete with the brand.
But no one has come close to the dominance of Victoria’s Secret.
A recent Business Insider survey found that 54% of women prefer the brand to all others — much higher than any other retailer in the category.
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