Today I’m writing a sort of “update” post on a post I wrote about a year ago about how I figured that La Senza will be closed down in the future in favour of its acquirer, Victoria’s Secret. I imagine a future where all La Senza locations are either closed completely or transitioned into Victoria’s Secret locations. Since the beginning of this year, 15 La Senza locations have closed down in Canada and 6 Victoria’s Secret locations have taken their place.
However, it was suggested to me by an expert in the field that given the enthusiasm on the part of many other high-end retailers to open “Factory Outlets,” perhaps La Senza is a sort of “de facto factory outlet.” This way Victoria’s Secret can sell less expensive merchandise to the people who want high quality lingerie, but are unenthusiastic about paying Victoria’s Secret prices. It also enables them to run this sort of “de facto” factor outlet store, without having the Victoria’s Secret brand attached to a less expensive product.
It was also brought to my attention that Martin Waters, President of International Operations at L Brands, Inc, addressed this in response to an investor’s question during their Q3 results conference call. Laura Champine with Cantor Fitzgerald asked, “on the La Senza business, … what is your timeframe on turning that at least to break-even and why strategically hold on to the business at this point, it somewhat obscures the health of your bigger businesses?”
In response, Mr. Waters replied “La Senza continues to be a work in progress, no doubt about that. But we’re pretty pleased with the progress we’ve made. We continue to see positive sales momentum in the business. We’re getting closer to the target customers, better assortments, more fashion on significantly tighter inventory. So that’s all really good and really positive. We also see sales momentum in the business where we’re colocated with Victoria’s and PINK is really strong. So there’s a real relevance for that brand in the market place alongside the other two businesses that we own.”
And with regards to keeping the business, he continued, “The logic for keeping it I think is obvious and compelling. We own the number one, number two and number three lingerie brands in the world, having a value play underneath of Victoria’s makes a ton of strategic sense. And so we’re very committed to its future. But the one bogey we have on La Senza, of course, and we’ve referenced it a number of times in this call is the FX rate between the Canadian dollar and the US dollar that gives us a really, really significant headwind. But it is what it is. FX is outside of our control and we continue to get better to stay focused on the customer and really lean into this peak time of the year.”
So, basically, he says they’re planning to keep the business because they like the idea of owning the top three lingerie brands in the world. He also references the fact that they appreciate having a less expensive brand to target those consumers who will not shop at Victoria’s Secret, given the higher price. He even states that they are “very committed” to the future of La Senza, despite the “really, really significant” disincentive surrounding currency exchange rates. This is the point of disagreement for me. I very much doubt that L Brands will continue to support the La Senza brand indefinitely. They may sell, if the currency exchange rate continues to fall, but mostly, I continue to believe their intention is to close many La Senza locations, while replacing others with Victoria’s Secret retail space. I hope I’m wrong.
In the mean time, you can take advantage of those low exchange rates and great prices on high quality lingerie, which is the crux of the remainder of this post.
As I mentioned, and sourced in my last post, both La Senza and Victoria’s Secret are owned by L Brands and their lingerie is made in the same factories. So, I suggest that if you want to own Victoria’s Secret quality lingerie at a fraction of the price, order from LaSenza.com.
I think that this advice is especially useful to my American friends. The Canadian dollar is falling in value, making Canadian goods cheaper for Americans. And La Senza does ship to the States.
So, I guess this post could alternatively be entitled, “How to get the cheapest Victoria’s Secret quality lingerie from its sister company, La Senza”
Step 1: Sign Up for the Emails. Visit LaSenza.com, scroll to the bottom. You’ll see this:
Enter your email and you’ll be notified when they have their sales.
My favorite sales that they have are the 40% off a $100 purchase. They also often offer free shipping for orders over $100.What’s great about the 40% off a $100 order is that it can be comprised of special offers and be reduced further with free shipping and your La Senza Prestige membership discount of 10%.
Step 2: Get the Prestige Discount card.
The Prestige discount card is available for sale on their website, and costs $10. It gives you 10% off all orders for a year, and you get a free birthday gift. You can even use it on the order in which you purchase it.
Step 3: Combine Discounts to get the Best Deals
So for example, let’s say I want to make an order. I pick out two bras, they’re both $45 each, but there is a BOGO 50% off offer, making one $45, and reducing the other to $22.50. Then, I also want some panties, and they’re normally $9.50 each, but if I buy 7, they’re 28.95 altogether. So, I buy 14. The subtotal for my order is now about $125, which meets the criteria for both 40% off and free shipping. Once I take off 40%, it brings my order down to $75. After removing another 10% for the Prestige member discount, my order totals about $68. So, $68 for 14 pairs of panties and 2 bras.
Step 4: Take Advantage of the Exchange Rate
But there’s more! Because La Senza is a Canadian company, those prices are in Canadian dollars. So, since the Canadian dollar is only worth 72 cents on the dollar, as I write this, my order would only come out to about 50 US dollars.
Evaluating the Order’s Economic Efficiency
So, basically, bras that were originally $45 a piece, and panties that were $9.50 individually, have been reduced through sales and the virtue of the sinking Canadian dollar to make this purchase very affordable. Let’s say, for example, that we assigned a value of $10 each to the bras, that would mean that each pair of panties cost only $2.14 ($30-remaining balance divided by 14- number of panties). That’s a far cry from the original $9,50 a pair.
I wonder how much 14 pairs of panties and 2 bras from Victoria’s Secret would cost… A lot more than 50 bucks is the answer!
Anyways, I hope this has helped some people make their choice about from which retailer they’d like to purchase their lingerie. Same factories, same quality, different price. Easy decision for me.
What do you think? Will you try this Canadian subsidiary of VS?
Let me know in the comments below!
Edited to add:
I am not affiliated with La Senza, Victoria’s Secret or L Brands- just in case you were wondering… I just really enjoy the products!