The annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show won't be happening this year. L Brands, which owns the lingerie brand, announced the news today on a quarterly earnings call with investors. According to Forbes, it was done in an effort to "evolve the messaging" of the company.
"We will be communicating to customers, but nothing similar in magnitude to the fashion show," said the company's CFO Stuart Burgdoerfer. He explained that the move was part of a gradual shift away from extravagant marketing ploys amidst the brand's steady decline in sales the past few years.
Beyond the financial costs, this decision comes after months of speculation following the 2018 Fashion Show, which brought in roughly a quarter of the viewers it had back in 2001. Overall, it seems that the event simply didn't quite have the same sway with audiences that it once did.
Model Shanina Shaik first predicted the annual event wouldn't happen back in July, saying that it was unfortunate because "every year around this time I'm training like an angel." The five-time veteran of the show itself also added that she was "sure they're trying to work on branding and new ways to do the show because it's the best show in the world."
Two months prior to Shaik's prediction, Victoria's Secret was discussing moving the event off of network television, as the show had aired on both ABC and CBS. CEO Les Wexner had said in May that the decision was part of "rethinking" the event overall. "Fashion is a business of change. We must evolve and change to grow," Wexner said at the time, echoing Burgdoerfer's statements today.
Despite the news, Burgdoerfer had nothing but praise for the "remarkable marketing achievement" that the show had been. However, the CFO admitted that the show wasn't quite making a splash in the sales department it once was.
"As timing over the years shifted over the years in terms of the airing the fashion show, did we see specific material impact in terms of a short-term sales response to the airing of the fashion show? As a general matter, the answer to that question is no."
It's been a rough year overall for Victoria's Secret, which announced in March that it would be shuttering 53 brick-and-mortar stores across the U.S. throughout 2019. At this time, there's no word on what the company has planned to replace the annual fashion show.