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Victoria's Secret teams up with coeds
The intimate apparel retailer launches new collection of fun and flirty loungewear for students.
July 30, 2004: 2:39 PM EDT
By Parija Bhatnagar, CNN/Money staff writer

Victoria's Secret rolled out its new Pink college collection chainwide this month.  
Victoria's Secret rolled out its new Pink college collection chainwide this month.

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Victoria's Secret is making college kids blush Pink with its new collection of lingerie, loungewear and sleepwear designed for the dorm-bound crowd.

The boudoir behemoth, famous for its sexy, romantic and provocative lines of intimate apparel, this month rolled out its more colorful and playful "Pink" fashion line chain-wide after a limited launch late last year.

Victoria's Secret is marketing the new lower-priced collection as "fresh, fun and free-spirited," catering to a younger 18-to-22-year-old clientele.

Despite the moniker, it's not all pink. The pajamas, thongs, bras, and T-shirts bear multi-colored polka dots, stripes and girlie slogans such as "I like boys."

"We wanted to capture the spirit of the young with Pink," said Anthony Hebron, spokesman for Victoria's Secret parent Limited Brands (LTD: Research, Estimates).

According to Hebron, since Pink is the first collection designed exclusively for the college-going customer, the company is devising unique marketing ploys to tout the line.

For instance, Victoria's Secret put together "Team Pink" after picking students from different college campuses around the country who would best represent the brand.

But Hebron declined to offer more details about the concept and whether or not the students would be featured in advertisements for Pink.

'"The Pink collection is an excellent idea because it caters to a different customer than the company's core, slightly older shopper. The college crowd was sort of a white space for Victoria's Secret that it needed to address," said Howard Tubin, analyst with Cathay Financial.

"Victoria's Secret strength has been its efforts to strive for constant newness," added Tubin. That factor has fueled its sales at its stores open at least a year, making it one of the star divisions of parent Limited Brands (LTD: Research, Estimates).

In June, Limited Brands, whose retail portfolio also includes Bath & Body Works, Express, Limited Stores, and the upscale Henri Bendel, posted robust same-store sales growth of 19 percent, including a 6 percent gain for Victoria's Secret.

The lingerie giant is marketing the line as  
The lingerie giant is marketing the line as "fresh, fun and free-spirited."

"Its comparable sales have been on a tear over the past two year, up 6 percent in 2002 and up 4 percent last year," Tubin said. " Sales in the first-half of this year have continued to be strong, and Pink appears to be contributing to it."

Marshal Cohen, analyst with market research firm NPD Group, agreed with Tubin's views.

"Victoria's Secret is already very strong with teen shoppers. It's usually the first place they go to buy intimate apparel," said Cohen. "If you think about it, Victoria's Secret finally recognized that if it already has captured the loyalty of the teen market, then it needed to figure out how to maintain that loyalty once this demographic had moved out of home to college. Pink is the right idea."  Top of page

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