It shouldn't be too hard to get that special French maid outfit this Halloween: Victoria's Secret is getting into the costume business. The Columbus Dispatchreports that parent Limited Brands (LTD) plans to offer a line of costumes at the lingerie chain this fall.
No word yet on whether the costumes will be rated PG-13 or R. Limited executives will say only that the clothes will be available in stores, online and though the Victoria's Secret mail catalog.
Limited Brands has been pushing to increase sales and profits at Victoria's Secret after the chain took a sharp hit early in the recession. It started turning things around during the holiday, when it cut back on inventories and markdowns, and sales showed some positive signs in the first quarter. Last week, Limited Brands reported June comparable sales (for stores open at least a year) were up 17% at Victoria's Secret, helped by rising store traffic and fewer markdowns.
A New Shopping Season
In a year when shoppers are still careful with their dollar and have been lurching from holiday sale to holiday sale, it makes sense for Victoria's Secret to find a way to goose store traffic during a period when the racks lie fallow. October is a usually slow month for clothing sales, after the back-to-school season and before holiday shopping picks up.
And Halloween is not child's play anymore. Last year, Americans spent $4.75 billion shopping for the holiday, $56.31 per person; the biggest spenders weren't even kids, they were 18- to 24-year-olds.
Adults have gotten into the game in a big way. According to the National Retail Federation, 47 million adults dressed up last year, almost as many as the 58 million children in costume.
Memo to Victoria: According to an NRF poll, the top five adult Halloween costumes are witch, vampire, pirate, clown and wench/vixen. Stock the shelves accordingly.