Rihanna has leveraged her social media power to quickly grow her lingerie brand to an estimated annual revenue of $150 million, according to moguldum.com. Today, Savage x Fenty’s assortment features more than 800 styles ranging in price from $10 to $100. Shipping is offered to 210 countries on the brand’s website, but the company has also partnered with online wholesalers Asos and Zalando, where its styles sell out within a month on average, according to fashionunited.com.
Rihanna’s attention to diversity, catering to women of all shapes and sizes, is why many experts say her brand is flourishing and why it could be poised to become a front-runner in the global lingerie market, expected to be worth $325 billion by 2025. Victoria’s Secret is a different, sadder story.
Savage X Fenty has been steadily gaining in sales since its launch in May 2018. Over the same time, Victoria’s Secret’s sales have been declining, with stores that were open at least a year falling 10% during Q4 last year, according to theguardian.com. In fact, VS has been suffering from such a decline in sales that the majority of the legacy company is being sold off.
The final blow came when Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, L Brands (NYSE: LB), sold a controlling stake in the company to a private-equity firm at a dismal $1.1 billion valuation. The company reached a $525 million deal to sell 55% of the brand to Sycamore Partners. L Brands will hold onto the remaining 45%, which includes the logo-heavy Pink chain, in efforts to calm investors’ fears. Shares of L Brands have been down as much as 50% in the past two years. Considering that Victoria’s Secret reported $7.37 billion in sales during its fiscal 2018, to be sold for only around 15% of that is abysmal.
Although Victoria’s Secret is still the biggest lingerie brand in the U.S. with 24% of market share, its share is down from 32% in 2013, according to data from Euromonitor.