Panty raid

Thong troubles at Victoria's Secret

Good morning, undergarment aficionados. This is your Stock Market Rundown for March 15th, 2024. Thanks for reading. Let’s dig in:

TODAY’S TOP STORY: SECRETS REVEALED

Remember the Victoria’s Secret fashion show? From 1995 to 2018, it was an annual TV event that celebrated cheesy glamor and cheeky semi-nudity, with leggy models strutting in ludicrous angel-wing get-ups. 

What was behind the scenes wasn’t glamorous, though—it was gross. Models were harassed by company executives, and starved themselves to look sexy on the runway. Ultimately, it wasn’t miserable models that sank Victoria’s Secret—it was the evolving tastes of female consumers.

For decades, Victoria’s Secret dominated the lingerie and intimates industry. In the days before e-commerce, the retailer mailed out 450 million catalogs a year, and introduced millions of midwestern moms to balconette bras and lace thongs. 

But by 2016, its market share started to decline, and the stock sagged. Competing intimates brands were launched with celebrity backing, like Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty and Kim Kardashian’s Skims.

Besides letting women dress like their favourite Instagram follows, the new entrants offered wider size ranges, and an inclusive vibe that resonated with consumers. Shocker: not every woman aspires to being a blonde glamazon with an eating disorder.

Victoria’s Secret attempted a brand turnaround, trying to position itself as an “advocate for female empowerment”. But buyers were skeptical. The stock is still in the discount bin, thanks to 2024 sales starting off sluggish. Maybe Victoria’s Secret is that nobody wants her underwear anymore.

What do you think? Chat with me in the comments:

SO WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?
  • Russia’s biggest bank says it will soon use AI to make most of its corporate lending decisions. What job can’t be done by AI? Looking forward to an AI car repairman telling me I need to replace my air filters.

  • There’s so much vaping in the UK that the London fog might be starting to smell mango-flavored. The British government is rolling out a vaping tax to clear the air.

  • Kroger reported earnings that beat expectations as frugal consumers ate at home. When you’re trying to save up an emergency fund, nothing hits like mom’s casserole.

  • Costco’s e-commerce revenue was up last quarter thanks to demand for gold bars and silver coins. From cans of tuna to precious metals, Costco has everything you need to prepare for civilizational collapse.

That’s it for today, dear readers. Have yourselves a fantastic weekend, and let’s circle back first thing Monday morning.  Yours in capitalism, The Axe

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