The 2018 Victoria's Secret show was watched by fewer people than ever before when it aired on Sunday, 2 December. The catwalk event, which starred the Hadid sisters, as well as Kendall Jenner, attracted a record low of only 3.3 million viewers, compared to five million last year. It was broadcast on ABC in the US and streamed on Hayu for UK viewers.
Statista had previously reported that audiences were down by nearly half from 2014 to 2017 from 9.12 million to 4.98 million, a staggering drop. There could be a number of reasons for the decrease. The show is new to ABC, having formerly had a long-standing CBS contract, and it was shown on a Sunday evening rather than its traditional Tuesday slot. Entertainment Weekly reports that ABC also pointed out that the show still secured the best numbers for its 10pm programme all season.
Nonetheless, the figures are still an all-time low for the brand, and come as the company faces increasing criticism for its outdated portrayal of beauty and lack of inclusivity. Last month, Victoria's Secret chief marketing officer Ed Razek was forced to apologise for his "insensitive" comments made about plus size women and the LGBTQ community. Even Halsey, who performed in the brand's show, publicly shamed the label on Instagram as a result.
In June, it emerged that the lingerie giant was struggling to sell even heavily discounted items. Although the study was based on a month’s sales, Jefferies analyst Randal Konik still said that it was "game over" for the brand. In an attempt to clear inventory, the label extended the sale by two weeks and dropped prices which resulted in a decrease in margin rates. It’s not the only record of ailing sales. Forbes also reported that comparable store and direct sales of Victoria’s Secret still are 9% below 2016.
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