Limited Brands is about to open two full-range Victoria’s Secret stores in China.
The US company confirmed the openings in a statement on Friday, saying both would open in the first quarter of this calendar year – which is already half way through.
But Chinese media say the first of the two stores will open within a fortnight in Shanghai. The second will follow in Chengdu.
Victoria’s Secret also plans a huge, multi-storey flagship in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay – it will take over space vacated by Forever 21 in one of the territory’s highest-profile retail locations.
English-language Chinese news site China.org.cn describes details of the Shanghai store as being shrouded in “utmost secrecy”. But city officials are a little more open about the details, confirming it will open on the prestigious Huaihai Rd strip.
“Victoria’s Secret store, together with some other new commercial projects to be launched this year, will reinvigorate the commerce environment of Huaihai Road and help it to restore its former glory,” Chen Yong, director of the Commission of Commerce for Huangpu district, told a media briefing last week.
Limited Brands refused to reveal an opening date for the store, but Chen said Victoria’s Secret models were being flown in to take part in the formal opening ceremony.
The US company currently has 20 stores in mainland cities across China – but they focus on body and beauty products rather than the lingerie, swimwear and activewear for which the brand is best known.
Data from Euromonitor shows the retail market for women’s lingerie in China has grown by 9.7 per cent on a CAGR basis since 2011. Sales last year topped US$20 billion.