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Is Victoria’s Secret Recovering From the #MeToo Movement That May Have Sunk Sales?

Just how much of a factor was the #MeToo movement in the sales performance at intimates mainstay Victoria’s Secret?

YouGov Plan & Track captured consumer sentiment around the embattled lingerie brand, whose Dec. 2 television runway extravaganza is set to deliver 42 minutes of colorfully over-the-top costumes capped off with those signature oversized angel wings.

Comparing the sales data for Victoria’s Secret over the same fall periods this year and last, YouGov discovered that sales are currently down just 1 percent, a far cry from the 11 percent dip for the comparable span in 2017 when the headlines were rife with accounts and allegations of sexual misdoings by powerful men. YouGov suggests that #MeToo’s virtual disappearance from the news cycle is a “possible factor” in why consumer perception of the seller of barely-there bras and knickers is reversing a downward trend.

In fact, YouGov found good news for Victoria’s Secret on many fronts. Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of the desirable 18-to-49-year-old female demographic said they’d purchased from the brand within the past 90 days, up from just 17 percent in mid-April. And the brand’s Buzz score stands at 26, a three-point improvement also from the middle of April when YouGov last measured brand sentiment. (Note: the Buzz score measures whether people have heard something positive or negative about a brand.) YouGov blames controversial comments L Brands CMO Ed Razek made in a Nov. 8 Vogue interview with dragging down the Buzz score from a year-high of 29.

Moreover, customer satisfaction jumped eight points from 29 in mid-April to 37.

These are positive developments for Victoria’s Secret, which will install John Mehas as CEO in 2019 following the departure of Jan Singer, who served as chief executive for two years. Though the company remains the lingerie leader, it faces stiff competition from the likes of Lively, ThirdLove and Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty—and the many younger consumers who are seeking something different and more modern from an underpinnings enterprise.