The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show may no longer air on network television following the 2018 iteration of the annual event.
In an internal email, obtained by CNBC, CEO Les Wexner said the lingerie company was "rethinking" televising the fashion show, which has aired on ABC and CBS for nearly 20 years.
Wexner said in the email he didn't believe television was the "right fit" for the event. He added that the company wanted to focus its energy instead on creating a "new kind of event," though he didn't specift what that event would entail. The news comes amid reports that viewership for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show has been on the decline, according to CNBC.
"Fashion is a business of change. We must evolve and change to grow," Wexner said in the email on Friday.
December's show drew the lowest ratings in the fashion show's decade-spanning history. What's more, Victoria's Secret continues to face backlash for featuring slim supermodels, rather than women of varying body types, in the show, CNBC noted.
The fashion show isn't the only aspect of Victoria's Secret that's in trouble. The company has seen a decline in sales, CNBC reported. As a result, it reintroduced swimwear after pulling the category in 2016. Per the news organization, it costs Victoria's Secret roughly $500 million a year in revenues. Shoppers may have also noticed an up tick in Victoria's Secret store closings. CNBC suggested that this move is an effort by the company to cut back on costs for physical real estate, allowing it to instead invest in creating new, more desirable products.
Victotia's Secret has faced its share of controversy in recent months. In November 2018, the company's Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek went off in an interview with Vogue, expressing an intolerance toward plus-size and trans models.0comments
"Shouldn't you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don't think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy," Razek said in a portion of the interview.
The company issued an apology from Razek on Twitter, but the damage had already been done. The Model Alliance posted a statement on Instagram saying it was "disappointed" by Razek's comments, slamming Victoria's Secret for pushing the idea of "female beauty that is predominantly white, cisgender, young and thin." Days later, Victoria's Secret Chief Executive Jan Singer left the company after only two years, according to Fashionista.