Business Lessons: The Victoria’s Secret Story

Roy Raymond is the name of the creator of the Victoria’s Secret business that as we all know, today represents the franchise largest in the world of fine and elegant lingerie.

Roy’s main motivation in the 1970s had to do with the fact that he, like most men, found it difficult to confidently purchase underwear for their wives in conventional stores.

So in search of a conservative and practical solution, I devised this formidable business concept.

What Roy was looking for was a comfortable place to shop that was both attractive to men and women. The first store was opened in San Francisco in 1977 and in the next 5 years it would open two more stores.

The acceptance was such that it soon launched its catalog shopping system so that its goal of making shopping more accessible would be fulfilled.

Thanks to the novelty of the concept and the excellent quality of the product, I would soon be distributing hundreds of catalogs by mail with seasonal garments, with which the business it kept growing by leaps and bounds.

Roy’s success soon attracted the eyes of the greats investors, one of them being The Limited company who in 1982 proposed the acquisition of the Victoria’s Secret business for the “juicy” amount of $ 4 million. Roy accepted almost without hesitation and sold the stores, the concept, the brand and the catalogs for this amount.

What happened next?
So far the end of this story seems very happy. And I do not doubt that Roy Raymond enjoyed the honeys of success at that time that for his short business vision it was quite acceptable.

What happened next is that the new owners, in addition to maintaining the original concept, focused on expanding it throughout the United States by opening stores in more areas and increasing the number of catalogs distributed. Additionally, more than just lingerie, they added new related products to the brand such as shoes, perfumery and accessories for women.

In addition, part of their strategy (controversial by the way) consisted of including famous models that wore the clothes that appeared in the catalogs. In such a way that in just 10 years, The Limited transformed the business Victoria’s Secrets in the most important lingerie brand in America, surpassing one billion dollars in profits by the beginning of the 90s! You can imagine?

More numbers…

  • In 1995 they launched their first runway shows to promote their lingerie products.
  • In 1999 the parade began to be broadcast online so that everyone could have access.
  • In early 2000, the parade began to be broadcast on TV through the ABC network and seen by millions of viewers around the world.
  • By 2006, Victoria’s Secrets produced and distributed more than 400 million catalogs.
  • To date, there are more than 1,000 stores in the United States alone.

In short, the deal Created by Roy Raymond in San Francisco, which started with a modest lingerie store, it has become the most important brand in the world, generating annual profits in excess of $ 3 billion.

Business Lessons

  1. Start a business dreaming big, keeping the vision and believing that you can become very big. For nothing underestimate that modest business that you currently have because you may just not be seeing great potential behind it.
  2. Before selling or closing your business ask for advice. Find people who know business, who have proven investment experience, and ask them to help you make the right decisions.
  3. Do not be dazzled by a large amount of money especially if you have a good concept or a great business idea. A good example of this is Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook to whom Yahoo at one point offered $ 1 billion for his social network. Mark did not accept and today bills a minimum of $ 15,000 million per year.
  4. Never forget that a business grows gradually and that as long as you preserve your creativity, good ideas and constant sense of innovation, it can continue to grow and provide you with the professional and economic satisfaction you desire.

So, I end this post with 2 questions for you: What would you have done instead of Roy Raymond? What others business lessons can we learn from this story?

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