Wexner said network television is no longer the “right fit” for the event, which has been broadcast on ABC and CBS for almost 20 years. He said the company instead will focus on creating a “new kind of event.”
Viewership for the fashion show has been dropping. The last show, televised in December, suffered the worst ratings in its broadcast history. That’s as Victoria’s Secret has been facing more criticism from women, its core customers, for trying to sell bedazzled bras and skimpy underwear on slim supermodels.
Wexner on Friday said: “Fashion is a business of change. We must evolve and change to grow.”
An L Brands spokeswoman declined to comment. Representatives from ABC and CBS weren’t immediately available for comment.
L Brands, in addition to Victoria’s Secret, owns Bath & Body Works.
Faced with slumping sales, the Columbus, Ohio-headquartered company recently reintroduced swimwear at Victoria’s Secret, a category it pulled out of in 2016, costing it $500 million in annual revenues. Victoria’s Secret has also started closing more stores annually than it has in the past, hoping a pruning of its real estate will help it cut costs and invest more in new products.
Meanwhile, online lingerie retailers such as Adore Me, Lively and ThirdLove are taking market share at Victoria’s Secret’s expense, promising female shoppers extended bra sizes and products in more neutral colors. American Eagle’s Aerie division has also found success in showcasing “real” women — in all shapes and sizes — in its marketing campaigns.