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It’s no secret that Victoria’s Secret is in the midst of a comprehensive brand transformation. 

At the heart of this metamorphosis lies an ambitious Store of the Future concept—a redesign aimed at physically embodying the company's new ethos. 

At RetailSpaces, Albert Gilkey, SVP of Store Design & Visual, pulled back the curtain on the new direction, revealing how Victoria's Secret is redefining the in-store experience from the ground up.

From Dark and Intimidating to Welcoming and Inclusive

"Victoria's Secret has changed, and so has the market we served," Gilkey said, emphasizing the brand's new mission "to uplift and champion all women." This shift demanded a complete rethinking of the in-store experience.

Gone are the dark, intense interiors that once defined Victoria's Secret locations. In their place, Gilkey and his team have created bright, welcoming spaces where customers feel seen and valued. 

"Our stores were so dark. Now I can do a test on like the 50 shades of pink," Gilkey quipped, highlighting the dramatic aesthetic shift.



Technology Meets Inclusivity

Apart from design, a cornerstone of the new store concept is the innovative use of technology. 

Gilkey emphasized that tech integration goes beyond mere aesthetics, serving functional purposes to enhance the shopping experience.

One standout feature is the "Crave" system, a fitting room technology available in 10 languages. Gilkey shared a touching anecdote about a hearing-impaired customer who felt "seen and heard" thanks to this inclusive technology.

Other tech highlights include:

  • "Find Your Fit" stations for easy product navigation
  • RFID-enabled fitting rooms for seamless customer-associate communication
  • Immersive video walls showcasing diverse models and campaign themes

Early Success and Global Rollout

With about 200 stores already featuring the new concept, early results are promising. 

"The Stores of the Future are all running green," Gilkey reported, noting increases in both traffic and conversion rates.

Customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with shoppers praising the welcoming environment and intuitive layout. Many are shopping across brands and building larger baskets, which Gilkey noted as a key indicator of the concept's success.

The rollout isn't limited to the U.S. Recent openings in Italy and upcoming launches in Madrid and Barcelona demonstrate the global scale of the transformation.


Learning From the Evolution

Victoria's Secret's Store of the Future represents more than just a facelift; it's a physical manifestation of the brand's broader transformation. By focusing on inclusivity, technology, and customer experience, the company is redefining its relationship with shoppers and adapting to changing market expectations.

As Gilkey concluded, quoting the company's CEO, this new store concept is "the best physical expression of our brand transformation." In a retail landscape that demands constant innovation, Victoria's Secret's bold reimagining of its stores could serve as a useful blueprint for other brands looking to evolve and connect with modern consumers.

Check out the entire talk above for an in-depth overview of the project!

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Sept 15-17, 2024 | Scottsdale, AZ

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