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International Marketing Plan
Expansion into Iraq
Emily Kates
Jana Danková
Patricia De Carvalho
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Table of Contents
Victoria’s Secret Company Characteristics ..................................................................................... 3
US Marketing Strategy Pillars ......................................................................................................... 5
Victoria’s Secret Products ............................................................................................................... 6
Victoria’s Secret Competitive Review........................................................................................... 10
Home Country Constraints............................................................................................................ 12
Host Country Data......................................................................................................................... 14
Population Pyramid....................................................................................................................... 18
Host Country Constraints.............................................................................................................. 19
Holidays & Traditions.................................................................................................................... 21
Weddings ...................................................................................................................................... 23
SWOT Analysis............................................................................................................................... 24
Objectives & Goals........................................................................................................................ 28
Mode of Entry ............................................................................................................................... 29
Target Customer ........................................................................................................................... 30
Value to Customer ........................................................................................................................ 32
Product Adaptation....................................................................................................................... 33
Placement ..................................................................................................................................... 36
Pricing............................................................................................................................................ 37
Promotion ..................................................................................................................................... 40
Location Strategy .......................................................................................................................... 45
Performance Measurement.......................................................................................................... 49
Works Cited................................................................................................................................... 51
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Victoria’s Secret Company Characteristics
Brand Background
Victoria’s Secret was started by Roy Raymond in 1977 with one store in Palo Alto, California.
Roy started the brand because he wanted to buy his wife something sexy, but did not feel
comfortable doing so at stores like Frederick’s. “He wanted it to be an exciting, sexy process
that would make men feel comfortable, not perverted,” (Schlossberg, 2015). He chose the
name “Victoria” to evoke the respectability associated with the Victorian era. The idea was that
while Victoria was classy on the outside her “secrets were hidden beneath”. The brand was
started with $80,000 in 1977 and sold to Leslie Wexler of L Brands for $1 million in 1982.
Victoria’s Secret is now the leading specialty retailer of women’s intimate apparel, controlling
over 35% of the US lingerie market. The brand is a publicly traded company owned by L Brands.
Victoria’s Secret is now worth over $4 Billion and is the largest subsidiary of L Brands making up
about 50% of its sales.
Company Philosophy
“The name is synonymous with all things feminine and sexy.” Victoria’s Secret products are
designed for both everyday sexiness and those moments that require a little something special.
Business Objectives
The Victoria’s Secret Empire has been built around being able to sell its products to everyone.
 Selling to Women - The products have sex appeal, but are also designed to be
comfortable for everyday sexiness.
 Selling to Girls - Victoria’s Secret has a brand segment called PINK which is known for its
bright colors and comfortable apparel. It is geared towards younger, high school age
girls, who will eventually buy from the parent brand, Victoria’s Secret.
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 Selling to Men - Unlike some of its competitors Victoria’s Secret appeals to men by
trying to make their buying experience comfortable, as well as targeting them for gift
purchases for their significant others.
Slogan
While the brand Victoria’s Secret doesn’t have one slogan, it does
have different slogans across its advertising campaigns. Most are
focused around the theme that sexy lingerie will make women feel
sexier.
The brand’s new focus has been on claiming that Victoria’s Secret
products can give every girl the perfect body; making her feel beautiful in
her own skin. This campaign came under a lot of criticismwhen
advertisement came out touting the slogan, “The Perfect Body,” which
featured similarly built, “impossibly thin, leggy, and large-busted supermodels”. The campaign
was criticized for perpetuating body image issues that can supposedly be solved by buying
Victoria’s Secret products. We responded to our customers’ feedback by quickly changing the
campaign slogan to, “A Body for Everybody.”
In-Store Experience
Interestingly, women don’t flock to the brand for its low-priced or affordable goods. The brand
appeal lies in providing the users with a luxurious experience. The pink wallpapers, visually
appealing fitting rooms, experienced and friendly staff, and the continuously fresh and
innovative range of products, is what lures the customers in and what has made the brand
resilient to industry-wide slowdowns or economic fluctuations. The aspirational factor attached
to the brand is also an important aspect, as most women love owning our products (Trefis
Team, 2015).
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US Marketing Strategy Pillars
Victoria’s Secret owns 35% of the lingerie market. Below are the marketing pillars used by the
company to grow the brand and increase our market share:
1. Connecting with Women
Victoria’s Secret strives to use models that are both sexy and approachable. The
company even declined to work with Kate Upton because she may seem
intimidating to other females (Lutz, 2014).
2. Uniting Stores with Online
This is all about making it easy for a customer to view something online and find it in
store, or vice versa.
3. The VS Fashion Show
In 2012, the show reportedly cost $13 million to put on and reached 9.3 million
viewers. The show has become an American tradition and has grown to include
famous live performers like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber (Lutz, 2013). According to
Victoria’s Secret’s CMO, the brand’s sales increase substantially “the day before and
the day after the show with sales totaling tens of millions,” (Amed, 2011). The
fashion show represents a large part of the Victoria’s Secret US marketing strategy.
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Victoria’s Secret Products
The Victoria’s Secret’s product portfolio reflects the needs of our target female customers
offering products ranging from lingerie to everyday undergarments, sleepwear and loungewear,
swimwear, sportswear, clothing, shoes, accessories, and beauty products. Our brand’s diverse
offerings have positioned us as a full lifestyle brand. However, since April of 2014 L Brands has
been cutting back Victoria’s Secret’s apparel offerings to focus on apparel "’that more directly
relates to Victoria’s Secret’s core offering – primarily lounge and the beach lifestyle,’” (Mau,
2014).
Currently, US Victoria’s Secret garments are offered in an array of sizes from a size 0 to a size 16
(XS-XL), bras from 30A to 40D, and shoes from size 5 to size 12.
Items can be purchased in store, through the Victoria’s Secret Catalogue, and online at
VictoriasSecret.com.
Bras
Push Up
Full Coverage
Demi
Unlined
Strapless & Multi-Way
Bralette & Lounge
Sport Bras
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Panties
Thongs & V-Strings
Cheekies & Cheekinis
Hiphuggers
Bikinis
Briefs & Boyshorts
No-Show & Seamless
Sleepwear
Pajamas
Sleepshirts & Nighties
Lingerie
Babydolls & Slips
Robes & Slippers
Beauty
Fragrances
Mists
Body Care
Accessories
Travel & Gift Sets
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Lip Products
Lingerie
Babydolls & Slips
Corsets & Teddies
Garter Slips
Gowns & Kimonos
Bras & Panties
Hosiery & Garters
Swimwear
Bikinis
One-Pieces & Tankinis
Cover-Ups
Athletic Wear
Sport Bras
Pants & Bottoms
Tops
Panties & Accessories
Clothing & Shoes
Hoodies & Tunics
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Sweaters
Tops & Tees
Lounge Bottoms
Yoga & Leggings
Cover-Ups & Dresses
Shoes
Hats, Scarves, & Accessories
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Victoria’s Secret Competitive Review
Victoria’s Secret has some direct and indirect competition in the market. Our direct competitors
are going after the same market segment, while the indirect competitors are offering
alternatives to a high-end product.
Direct competitors:
AdoreMe
This fast-growing company has their eyes locked specifically on Victoria’s Secret’s market share.
In 2014, the company brought in $16.2 million and is on track to become the top lingerie seller
in the US. Their tactic is to do what Victoria’s Secret does, except better, by offering a wider
selection of sizes, using technology to gauge their audience’s desires, advertising smartly, and
responding quickly to market changes (Schlossberg, 2015).
True & Co.
Developed with the philosophy that finding the perfect bra is a nuisance, True & Co. focuses on
the wholesome experience of getting fitted online and then trying on bras at home. The
creators have developed an algorithm that will allow women to find their perfect fit and then
send a box of five bras to their home for them to try out. You keep what you want and send
back what you don’t like (Rosenblum, 2014).
Fruit of the Loom - Vanity Fair
While they are not specifically high-end, Vanity Fair focuses on the everyday comfort of the bra.
Sophistication, fit, comfort, and support comprise their foundation. They are on the edge of
competing with Victoria’s Secret because they go after the same type of consumer, but with
less of a focus on intimacy.
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Frederick’s of Hollywood (only online)
Frederick’s actually filed for bankruptcy after not having a profitable quarter since 2007, but
they are worth mentioning because their online stores still capture much of the same audience
that Victoria’s Secret has. The company was founded by the inventor of the push-up bra, but
failed because their marketing efforts were too focused on the message of intimacy instead of
the message of ‘every day wear.’
(Source: Lutz, 2013)
Indirect Competitors:
These are clothing and department stores that also carry intimate apparel. They are considered
indirect competition because they are not focused on lingerie and carry many different brands,
as well as also offering a wide variety of other items.
 Macy’s
 Target
 Saks
 Dillard’s
 Chico’s
 Nordstrom
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Home Country Constraints
(Index Mundi, 2015)
Victoria’s Secret has seen promising growth and success in its US and Canadian locations due to
its marketing strategies. The company owns 35% of the US lingerie market and has continual
sales growth. Victoria’s Secret has extremely high brand loyalty, an image of high quality, and
impeccable marketing tactics. Despite their growth, however, the company is not invincible.
There are a few constraints that Victoria’s Secret faces at home:
LimitedIncome
Since the Victoria’s Secret brand is based on high quality and catering to specific customer
tastes, it is considered a high-end brand. This means that it is available only to a certain market
segment that can afford these luxury goods. While they capture a good portion of the market,
this is a constraint they have to keep in mind.
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Size Offerings
Many potential customers in the US are unable to purchase Victoria’s Secret items because
they do not fit (Lutz, 2015). The largest size offered by the company is an XL, which is equivalent
to a size 16. In the fashion industry, plus-size clothing is defined as sizes 12 to 24. Many retailers
will offer even up to a size 28 to accommodate for all of the possible body types. By limiting
their size offerings, Victoria’s Secret is losing out on a huge customer base.
Not only do they lose out on plus-size customers, but they also lose brand loyalty and image
through the messages their sizing sends out. By sending the message that good looks are
defined by a slimsize, they are facing backlash from many customers and the general
population. With this current mind set, Victoria’s Secret is facing a market constraint.
Rise inCompetition
As more competitors enter the market, Victoria’s Secret needs to continually put forth more
effort to hang onto their market share. The increase of internet lingerie offerings is putting a
damper on potential growth for the company. Internet lingerie brands are able to cater to
consumers in a more targeted and dynamic fashion because they have direct communication
with the customer through surveys, customization, and direct shipments. They can even build
up their brand image easily because of customer feedback and building up an online
community.
As competition increases, so do the amount of fake products in the market. Since Victoria’s
Secret is a luxury good for some people, they care less about the actual quality and more about
the “feel” of a look-alike brand.
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Host Country Data
Location:
Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and Kuwait
Capital:
Baghdad
Climate:
Mostly desert with mild to cool winters and dry, hot, cloudless summers. The northern
mountainous regions along the Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with
occasionally heavy snows that melt in early spring and sometimes causing extensive flooding in
Central and Southern Iraq.
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Population:
28,221,180 people as of July 2008
Ethnic Make-up:
Arab: 75%-80%
Kurdish 15%-20%
Turkoman, Assyrian, or other: 5%
Religions:
Muslim: 99% (Shia 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%)
Christian 0.8%,
Others: Hindu <.1, Buddhist <.1, Jewish <.1, folk religion <.1, unaffiliated .1, other <.1
Government:
Parliamentary Democracy
Language:
Arabic (“Iraqi Arabic”) / Kurdish
People:
77% Arabs, 19% Kurds, and the rest a variety of different groups, including Turkomens,
Assyrians, and Armenians
(Source: Kwintessential)
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Age:
15-24 years: 19.6% (male 3,237,212/female 3,142,202)
25-54 years: 36.3% (male 6,032,379/female 5,785,967)
50% of the population is under 19 years old
(Source: Index Mundi, 2014)
Labor Force:
17% of Iraq’s labor force is comprised of women
78% of Iraqis use mobile phones
12% of Iraqis own a personal computer
Income per Capita:
$7,100
71% of Iraqis live in urban areas
(Source: United Nations Development Programme in Iraq)
Literacy:
85.7% of men
73.3% of women
(Source: CIA The World Factbook)
Average Weight:
Average Weight (Iraq): 145.58 lb
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Average Weight (US): 180.62 lb
Average Female BMI (Iraq): 25.6
Average Female BMI (US): 29
(Sources: Quilty-Harper, 2012 & Gaille, 2013)
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PopulationPyramid
(Index Mundi, 2015)
Iraq has a very bottom-heavy population pyramid. Although it seems almost too perfect, we
must trust that the data provided to us represents reality to a significant degree. Predictions for
2050 are also shown to indicate how the age structure is expected to change in relation to what
it is currently. Based on this prediction, we can feel confident about using this data to support
our marketing decisions.
The young population is a strength for Victoria’s Secret, as the majority of the population falls
into the target market or as an emerging target market. Not only is the age important, but so is
the distribution of males to females. Since they are distributed nearly equally and across the
same ages, a good portion of them are at the age where they begin to get married. The
selected promotional techniques described throughout this plan capture a majority of the
population within these age and gender distributions.
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Host Country Constraints
Gender
By law, the Iraqi Constitution states that all Iraqis are equal before the law and prohibits
discrimination based on sex. However, the Constitution also states that Islamhas the final
word, and it allows each religious group in Iraq to govern over these matters. With this said,
Iraq is considered to be one of the most progressive nations in the Middle East, and there are
no restrictions on women working or driving as there are in Saudi Arabia. There are defined
gender roles for men and women. Women are supposed to be conservative, and are typically
responsible for domestic and child-rearing responsibilities, whether or not they work. As such,
the mother typically does the purchasing of clothing for herself, her children, and sometimes
the husband.
War
The country has been rocked by a number of wars in its recent history including the Gulf War
(1990 - 1991), the Iraq War (2003 - 2011), and the current level of instability within the country
which has not yet been declared a “war.” Without delving into the details of the general
instability within the region, it is important to mention the risk involved with the political
instability and potential for disruption of business activities.
Girls - The Role of Age
It is important to understand that mothers typically do the clothing purchasing for their
children. Thus, apparel brands need to be aware when targeting girls that the end-consumer
(“the wearer”) will not be the one making the purchasing decision. Brands need to appeal to
the purchaser, in this case the mother. In addition, due to the conservative and religious nature
of Iraq it is wise to stay away from being perceived as sexualizing young girls. This is the reason
we decided not to move forward with the PINK line in Iraq.
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Comfortable In-store Experience
While not all women in Iraq are fully-veiled, it can still be uncomfortable for them to enter
stores like Victoria’s Secret, especially stores with male attendants. In some cases, women will
wait until they are out of the country to buy their bras and underwear to avoid this awkward
encounter. The challenge here is twofold: getting the women into the stores and making them
feel comfortable once in the store.
Customer Facing Advertisements &Storefronts
In this region, images of women in their bras and panties cannot be shown in public places.
Therefore, the traditional pictures and images of “the angels” or the fashion show cannot be
used for marketing. Similarly, stores should not make their products or customers within the
store visible from the outside. Stores need to be outfitted with curtains or tinted glass to
conceal the internal contents of the store. While images of women in nighties may be
acceptable in some cases, it is not the case in all stores. The brand is in essence “Victoria’s
Secret” – classy on the outside, secrets on the inside.
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Holidays & Traditions
It is a good idea to stay away from promotions on holidays, as Iraqis hold their traditions close.
There are opportunities for timing promotions around those holidays or at least recognizing
them. By tying into the culture and recognizing when a day is important, Victoria’s Secret can
integrate itself into the traditions as a brand without necessarily trying to make a sale.
Ramadan:
During Ramadan, followers of Islamfast from dawn to sunset to worship and fulfill God’s
commands. People try to be on their best behavior and give up any bad habits. It falls on the
ninth day of the Muslim calendar.
Effects on Victoria’s Secret
This is a time when people are more conservative, so they would likely not spend money on
indulgences such as lingerie items. Women are encouraged to wear abayas in public and are
required to wear traditional clothing when they enter religious buildings and attend services.
Additionally, weddings do not take place during this holiday.
Eid Al Fitr (End of Ramadan)
This marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the month of Shawwal. During this time,
many Muslims attend prayers, listen to sermons, and give charity in the form of food. This is
also a time to prepare festive meals, wear new clothes, visit relatives, and give presents to
children.
Effects on Victoria's Secret
Store opening hours may be affected to give people the time to celebrate, but the store would
see a boost in sales during this month. Especially since women tend to wear new clothing, this
is a time to offer promotions and draw people into the store.
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Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice)
Marks the occasion when Ibrahim sacrificed his son Ishmael according to Allah’s command to
show his devotion. Muslims pray and listen to sermon, wear new clothes, visit family members,
and often symbolically sacrifice an animal. This is around the time when many Muslims will
travel to Mecca to perform the Hajj pilgrimage.
Effects on Victoria’s Secret
During this time, many businesses will close or have limited hours. Shopping habits may be
affected as women recognize this time of sacrifice. However, it may be an opportunity for the
store to contribute to employees’ pilgrimage either by giving then time off or an increase in
pay.
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Weddings
Iraqi weddings are full of festivities. Prior to the wedding, there are several celebratory parties.
The first is the engagement party, the khitooba, where families come together for dinner,
dancing, and to witness the couple’s exchange of engagement rings. Next is the pre-wedding
party, the nishan, where the fiancée and his family present the bride-to-be with gold and
jewelry. During the nishan, the bride-to-be is expected to change her dress seven times, and
each dress should be in different colors such as red, blue, black, off-white, yellow, and purple.
The evening before the wedding, the bride has a lailat al henna party for the couple’s family.
She and other relatives will have henna applied to their hands. Seven days after the wedding
ceremony and reception, the bride hosts a sab’a at the groom’s family home for female
relatives and friends. The husband is present but stays in another room during the celebration.
The bride will wear her wedding dress or nishan dresses for the party (Monger, p. 378-379).
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SWOT Analysis
Strengths:
Luxury Brand
Many Middle Eastern women are known for having extravagant lives and spending their money
on luxury items. As a luxury brand, Victoria’s Secret will be a desirable location to shop and
acquire accessories from.
Offering More than Just Clothes
Victoria’s Secret sells lingerie, but it also sells a feeling of confidence. Women value feeling like
they have significant power over their own lives, especially in a place where that may not be
true societally. Other lingerie brands may not be able to get a foothold within Iraq because they
fail to spread a message beyond their physical lingerie lines. Additionally, we are orientating the
store’s offerings around another service: weddings.
Competition is Scarce
There are not any luxury lingerie competitors in Iraq that have made a significant impact. This is
a strength because Victoria’s Secret will be a market leader in the country – a difficult task, but
very rewarding if executed correctly.
Brand Recognition; International Reach
Iraqis are very brand aware in general. They recognize global brands and seek out the
experiences they associate with them. Therefore, they are very likely to already know of
Victoria’s Secret, which gives the company an advantage since it has a strong brand image.
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Weaknesses:
Difficult to Market within the Country
Being a more conservative society, it is not appropriate to advertise women in lingerie or to
advertise scandalous messages. For this reason, we need to find ways to market the company
with a different twist. These tactics are risky, because they have not been proven yet and they
may not be successful. It is important that Victoria’s Secret raises just the right amount of
awareness, the right type of awareness, and targets the desired audience.
Lack of Internet E-Commerce Infrastructure
Companies do not excel in e-commerce in Iraq because of internet restrictions and shipping
complications. While people can access information online, it is difficult to turn those viewers
into online shoppers. It is simply not the norm, nor does Victoria’s Secret have the means to
focus on making it streamlined. Therefore, the company will have to take this into
consideration and find different channels of reaching customers and making sales.
Opportunities:
Modernization of Fashion
Women in Iraq place a high value on fashion. There is a great opportunity to get into the
market with fashionable lingerie styles. Not only that, but it also gives the company a good
point of entry. For example, if we market a highly fashionable night gown, we can pair that with
a matching lingerie set – something that makes the marketing effective, yet discreet.
Large Young Population
The population pyramid for Iraq reveals opportunities to capture a large portion of the
population in our target market. By establishing the brand value within Iraq, the younger
population will grow up to already recognize the brand and will seek it out.
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Threats:
Vulnerability in Case of Economic Downturn
Luxury brands depend on people to have high discretionary income. During an economic
downturn - which has happened and may happen again in the near future – people are more
likely to focus on necessities rather than luxury products.
Political Instability
The Middle East is known for their political instability, which has a long history and likely a long
future ahead. There may be unstable fluctuations that impact Victoria’s Secret. For example, if
war breaks out and Iraqis are focused on survival rather than indulgence, then Victoria’s Secret
will be neglected. Additionally, if bans are put on women or the types of stores that are allowed
to operate within the region, the company will have to respond to those changes and will have
no say in those decisions.
Competitors Also Seizing Opportunities
There is the chance that some of Victoria’s Secret’s competitors will also see the opportunities
in the region and go after them, especially if they have the means to do so. There is also the
threat that e-commerce begins to thrive and that competitors with an advantage in e-
commerce will come into the market and take over. It is much easier to spread influence online
than to build in-store experiences, which would give them an advantage.
Non-Conservative Fashion Shows
While marketing in Iraq may be targeted, Victoria’s Secret is still a globally recognized brand.
This means that everyone has the potential to hear about what they are doing in one corner of
the world. The company has big fashion shows as part of their marketing strategy – something
that works very well in the US but that may not be accepted by Iraqis. There is the possibility of
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tainting our image through these types of marketing events, unless we can have more
conservative fashion shows specifically tailored for this region.
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Objectives & Goals
The goal is to become the go-to luxury brand for everyday glamor in lingerie, sleepwear, and
bridal gifts. In order to reach that goal, Victoria’s Secret must first enter the country, set up in
its two main locations, and market its unique offering to its target audience. Victoria’s Secret
will have the short-term objective to position itself as a high-end everyday lingerie brand and a
long-term goal to become Iraq’s wedding gift brand for women.
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Mode of Entry
We will enter Iraq through a partnership with M.H. Alshaya, a Kuwaiti private company with
decades of experience in bringing American brands to the Middle East. They currently work
with over 70 brands, including H&M, Express, and River Island. They operate in 19 different
countries and have partnered with us in the past to establish and operate 17 Victoria’s Secret
stores in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, and Turkey. Through this partnership,
we will be able to better navigate Iraqi regulations, culture, and traditions, as the company will
be responsible for scouting locations, negotiating leases, and hiring and managing employees
(Kowitt, 2013).
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Target Customer
Character profile:
Name: Amira Laith
Gender: Female
Family Life-Cycle: Engaged
Age: 18-25
Class: Upper Middle Class, to Upper Class
Ethnicity: Middle Eastern
Education: Currently in School or Recent Graduate of University
Future Occupation: Elementary School Teacher
Favorite Food: Iraqi Biryani
Favorite Drink: Turkish Coffee
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Favorite TV Show: Guilty pleasure reality TV
Clothing:
Her closet includes Michael Kors, Tory Burch, and even some Versace. She typically does not
wear the hijab.
Fun Fact: Amira enjoys cooking for her family and takes pride in making the traditional recipes
passed down by her ancestors.
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Value to Customer
Women in Iraq like to dress in fashion and feel beautiful. Knowing that they enjoy style is an
important first step to get their attention with Victoria’s Secret, but Victoria’s Secret lingerie
will be something a little more personal.
The Staple Wedding Gift
By offering an exclusive line in the store just for wedding gifts, women will begin to associate
the brand with a luxurious wedding gift. Brides will be ecstatic to receive this type of high-end
wedding gift and will come to expect at least a few lingerie items for the occasion.
Ease and Comfort of Purchase
We will de-stigmatize Victoria’s Secret by positioning it as the go-to for wedding gifts. This
enables us to expand our advertising and influence in Iraq to make women feel comfortable
entering our stores and carrying our merchandise.
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Product Adaptation
“The philosophy is that women are not out there for the world to look at them, so they don’t
dress for the general public. But for their family and friends, they dress beautifully. They have
magnificent hairstyles, they wear magnificent jewelry and they love lingerie” - Alia Hogben, the
Executive Director of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (Stechyson, 2011).
Product Line
We will be offering our lingerie lines including bras, panties, babydolls, slips, corsets, teddies,
gowns, kimonos, and garters as well as sleepwear such as pajamas, sleep shirts, nighties, robes,
and slippers. Our sleepwear and lingerie will offer the glamour that our target customers are
looking for through luxe fabrics like satin, silk, lace, and velvet as well as traditional Iraqi textiles
and fabrics that pay homage to the Iraqi culture. Our products will be offered in rich colors like
pinks, greens, teals, purples, and classic black and white to further evoke a sense of glamour
and luxury. Considering that the average female BMI of Iraqi women is 25.6, which is less than
the US average female BMI of 29, we anticipate lesser demand for plus sizes and will therefore
be offering our products in our current sizes of 0 through 12. In addition, our product labels will
be written in English, Arabic, and Kurdish to accommodate the main Iraqi languages.
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Wedding Gifts
In light of the many festivities which accompany Iraqi weddings
Victoria’s Secret has the opportunity to become a part of these
traditions through gift giving. While we will not replace the traditional
gifts of gold and jewelry we can supplement them with glamorous
lingerie. For instance, the sab’a, which is a female only party to
celebrate the couple’s marriage after the wedding, is a great time for
friends and family to gift the new wife with classy but fun lingerie
sets. In addition, the couple also receives gifts during the wedding
reception, presenting another chance for friends and family to gift the
bride with lingerie along with the traditional jewelry for the couple’s
honeymoon. These lingerie gifts will be crafted in high quality
materials such as tulle and be packaged in beautiful boxes, complete
with gold foil and tissue paper.
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Partnership - Jewelry
To further elevate our brand we will be
introducing a jewelry line through a partnership
with an upscale Iraqi jewelry brand. Our line
will be exclusive to Victoria’s Secret and feature
traditional Iraqi wedding gifts such as diamond
and gold pieces as well as gemstones which are
reminiscent of the rich jewel tones of our
sleepwear and lingerie lines. This jewelry line
will naturally align with our lingerie wedding
gifts by creating a one stop shop for wedding
gift buyers. We will also create a new brand
association for Victoria’s Secret in Iraq which
positions us as an elegant and classy brand and
reduces some of the stigma of lingerie.
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Placement
Storefronts
Our products will be sold in elegant, discreet storefront locations. In the same way which
Victoria’s Secret founder, Roy Raymond, used Victorian inspired decor to make Victoria’s Secret
a less risqué and more comfortable environment for men to shop for their wives’ lingerie. We
will be creating a shopping experience for Iraqi women which is in line with their conservative
values. Our stores will feature tinted glass to ensure privacy for customers.
Our stores would employ only women in order to create a more comfortable shopping
experience.
Store decor will reflect Iraqi prints and textiles and evoke an upscale luxurious atmosphere.
Fitting rooms will be located in an alcove and
feature floor to ceiling doors in order to ensure
privacy. No men will be allowed near the
alcove space.
Easy to understand graphics will be present in
fitting rooms along with tape measures, to
allow women to figure out their correct size,
without having someone measure them.
37
Pricing
Economic Value Analysis
Economic Value Analysis is a pricing technique that prices products based on value rather than
costs. It includes the reference value (price of the next best alternative) and then either adds or
subtracts the differentiation value based on whether the product is better or worse than
alternatives.
Direct competitor Pricing (Reference Value) inUSD($):
Lingerie Bras Undies Sleepwear Body Care
Adore Me 39.95 - $49.95 $39.95 $7.65 $39.95
True & Co. $45 - $70 $16.00 $68.00 $28 - $50
Fredericks $29 - $40 $25.00 $9 - $18
Vanity Fair $40.00 $10.00 $20.00
Victoria's Secret $50 -100 $50.00 $14.50 - $20 $50 - $80 $8 - $30
Discounting
Iraqis have an affinity for high quality goods, and therefore are willing to pay more for goods
that they believe are high quality or status enhancers. As a result, Victoria’s Secret in Iraq will
usually have full price items and use occasional large sale discounts to entice aspirational
purchasers. We will have three major yearly sales which coincide with celebratory holidays. We
38
will hold a 40% off sale for New Year’s and two 30% off sales to commemorate each Eid
celebration.
Inflation
Looking at the inflation rate over the past five years, it doesn’t seem to be too consistent. To
account for this, the brand may pursue a strategy of establishing long-term contracts with
suppliers or distributors, or insert a clause in the paperwork that allows for adjustment
according to inflation.
Typical Basket/Affinity toSpend
Compared with other U.S. cities like New York or Boston, the Iraqi consumer spends about 45-
60% less on clothing and apparel. To account for this, the Victoria’s Secret Iraq customers will
typically pay about 30% less. The reason for not dropping the prices to be more affordable
stems from our desire to be positioned as a luxury brand. Iraqis have an affinity for luxury
brands and other status indicators. We are targeting upper middle class and upper class
customers, the brand needs to appear a luxury, but remain attainable.
39
Victoria’s Secret IraqPrices:
$1 (USD) = 1139.75 Iraqi Dinar (IQD)
Price on Tag in USD Price on Tag in IQD
Lingerie $40.00 - $100.00 56,987.50 - 113, 974.99
Bras $40.00 56,987.50
Undies $12.50 - $20.00 16,526.37 - 22,795
Sleepwear $40.00 - $80.00 56, 987.50 - 91,180
Body Care $8.00 - $30.00 9118.00 - 34192.50
40
Promotion
Message
Be Exquisite
Advertising
The biggest advertising challenge for Victoria’s Secret in the Middle
East is the inability to show real models wearing the lingerie. We plan
to tackle these advertising challenges in a few ways:
 Show models in sleepwear, jewels, or wedding apparel with
the slogan “Be Exquisite”.
 Store-front advertising will be using a combination of pictures
of women in jewels or wedding apparel as well as the plain
pink branding colors. Store will use tinted white glass, and
customers will not be able to see the interior of the store from the outside.
 Wedding Advertising - In an attempt to associate ourselves with weddings and the gift
giving traditions that follow much of our advertising will consist of showing couples at
wedding festivities sometimes wearing our jewelry line or toting our statement
Victoria’s Secret bag.
o These ads will feature both male and female models.
41
 Jewelry Advertising - Faced with the challenge of being unable to show our lingerie
products on models we will be featuring advertisements with models wearing jewelry
from our line. This further brands Victoria’s Secret as a luxury brand and wedding gift
destination.
42
Wedding Parties
As an extension of our focus on weddings, Victoria’s Secret will host wedding parties where the
bride’s close friends & family can come into Victoria’s Secret and pick out gifts for the bride
together. Refreshments will be provided and attendants will be available to help the ladies
select anything from sleepwear to jewels and lingerie.
43
InvitationOnly Party
In keeping with our luxury focus we will host a yearly invitation only party in May, before the
beginning of wedding season and Ramadan, where the rich and elite women of Iraq can get
exclusive access to our debut jewelry and wedding collections. We will host the party at a
luxury venue such as a country club or hotel with ample security.
In an attempt to entice the aspirational segment of our customer base we will be giving away
two invitations to our exclusive party during our 40% off New Year’s sale. Customers will be
given a scratch ticket with purchase which will give two lucky customer invitations to the party.
Print Campaigns
As the brand becomes associated with weddings, we will start advertising through a few print
mediums such as magazines (especially wedding magazines), billboards, and a few mailings.
44
Media
Social
While there are many active social media users in Iraq, and many companies using social media
as a means of creating brand awareness, the nature of Victoria’s Secret products does not allow
us to use this channel. Encouraging people to publicly follow their favorite underwear brands
would be the equivalent of broadcasting your favorite sexy lingerie.
Website
 E-Commerce Problems: Initially, the website was seen as a great way for women to buy
online without having to go through the potentially uncomfortable experience of going
to the store. Upon further research, the online shopping environment is not developed
enough to host an e-commerce website, and a lot of other brands aren’t using this
channel. The primary problem seems to be the lack of network security and inability to
convince consumers otherwise.
 Re-purposing the Website: Instead of having a website for e-commerce purposes the
site will instead be used to display products and answer questions. In 2013, a startup
called Amourah launched a blog in the Middle East and created a place for women to
ask questions and get advice on their bra and undergarment problems (Schroeder,
2013). The blog thrived off of the fact that many women were too uncomfortable to ask
their questions in store, so instead they felt more comfortable asking online. Victoria’s
Secret online will have a similar forum to ask questions in online chat style, and the sales
attendants can recommend products that might resolve their problems. The online sales
attendant can give the person a product ID number to show the attendant once in store.
45
LocationStrategy
The initial strategy will be to open two stores within shopping malls in Baghdad and Erbil.
Together these territories include 14 million people, a little less than half of the entire country’s
population. Although some people shop in traditional bazaars and small neighborhood shops,
the upper classes and expatriate communities are now increasingly choosing to shop in
Western-style shopping centers (Marsh, 2012). As our target market is the upper-middle class
and upper class, Victoria’s Secret will open its first stores within shopping malls in large cities.
46
Baghdad, Iraq
Mansour Mall
The Mansour mall opened in 2013 in central Baghdad. Customers initially feared that having
many people in one small area would be a target for bombings. However, in order to get into
the mall entrants must pass by armed guards and both males and females are searched and
patted down (in separate rooms). Overtime, the people have nearly forgotten their security
concerns about the mall and the place has turned into a getaway for entertainment. The four
story mall provides movie theaters, a children’s arcade and a mini amusement park (Hennessy-
Fiske and Bulos, 2014). The mall contains stores such as the Loft, Clarks, ECCO, and Timberland.
The mall is frequently packed as it has become a place to shop as well as a local hangout.
Although some people find the stores “pricey” they still admit to making purchases of their
favorite items.
47
Erbil, Iraq
Majidi Mall
The Majidi Mall opened in 2009 and has become one of the largest shopping and entertainment
centers in Iraq. It has three floors and contains over 67 stores including the likes of Adidas,
Levi’s, Nike, PUMA, and United Colors of Benetton. Like the Mansour Mall, it also contains a
movie theater and arcade. The ability to have entertainment aspects other than just shopping
draws consumers into the malls more frequently. The mall is known for having “international
chain stores and genuine brand name designs” making it a popular destination for wealthier
residents and tourists (Rasoul, 2014).
48
LocationExpansion Plan
We have chosen to open in two mall locations within the larger cities in Iraq. Looking further
into the future, if our sales goal of $1.5 million in profit within each store is met, we will be
opening more locations within the country with the same mall store location strategy.
49
Performance Measurement
In order to carry out our objectives and goals, Victoria’s Secret in Iraq will have to reach a series
of benchmarks. Knowing when that benchmark is reached marks a performance measure.
Short Term:
 Objective: Gain entry into the Iraq market.
 Measure: Paperwork is signed and entry is granted.
 Objective: Analyze the target audience’s tastes in order to tailor marketing efforts.
 Measure: Surveys are collected and on-site research reports are submitted.
 Objective: Set up in two target locations.
 Measure: Stores are leased, built, and stocked.
Long Term:
 Objective: Ensure store performance is sustainable.
 Measure: Assess sales after 6 months and 1 year to reach targets. Each store should
generate around $1.5 million in gross profits per year1.
 Objective: Ensure customers are satisfied.
 Measure: Conduct surveys and research to get feedback from customers to achieve
above 60% satisfaction.
1 Calculationsarebased off of 2013 financial data (BS,2013).$5,000 million gross profit/ 1,146 total stores = $4.3
million grossprofits per store. Estimate is made from a per-store gross profitcalculation in theUS and adjusted for
the fact that it is a new store and focusingonly on lingerie.
50
 Objective: Establish Victoria’s Secret in Iraq as the premiere wedding gift destination.
 Measure: Customer brand associations with Victoria’s Secret and weddings as gathered
from market research.
51
Works Cited
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Gaille, B. (2013). List of Average Human Weight By Country and American States. Retrieved
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lace+to+shop+in+iraq&source=bl&ots=-
xx0Mdu0zA&sig=Y_idOfUnxMKTwHeMT1qYbu7PVPg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CFUQ6AEwB2oVChM
Ixuuup8fwyAIVRRkeCh39BAsv#v=onepage&q=most%20popular%20place%20to%20shop%20in
%20iraq&f=false
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Victoria's Secret Marketing Plan

  • 1. International Marketing Plan Expansion into Iraq Emily Kates Jana Danková Patricia De Carvalho
  • 2. 2 Table of Contents Victoria’s Secret Company Characteristics ..................................................................................... 3 US Marketing Strategy Pillars ......................................................................................................... 5 Victoria’s Secret Products ............................................................................................................... 6 Victoria’s Secret Competitive Review........................................................................................... 10 Home Country Constraints............................................................................................................ 12 Host Country Data......................................................................................................................... 14 Population Pyramid....................................................................................................................... 18 Host Country Constraints.............................................................................................................. 19 Holidays & Traditions.................................................................................................................... 21 Weddings ...................................................................................................................................... 23 SWOT Analysis............................................................................................................................... 24 Objectives & Goals........................................................................................................................ 28 Mode of Entry ............................................................................................................................... 29 Target Customer ........................................................................................................................... 30 Value to Customer ........................................................................................................................ 32 Product Adaptation....................................................................................................................... 33 Placement ..................................................................................................................................... 36 Pricing............................................................................................................................................ 37 Promotion ..................................................................................................................................... 40 Location Strategy .......................................................................................................................... 45 Performance Measurement.......................................................................................................... 49 Works Cited................................................................................................................................... 51
  • 3. 3 Victoria’s Secret Company Characteristics Brand Background Victoria’s Secret was started by Roy Raymond in 1977 with one store in Palo Alto, California. Roy started the brand because he wanted to buy his wife something sexy, but did not feel comfortable doing so at stores like Frederick’s. “He wanted it to be an exciting, sexy process that would make men feel comfortable, not perverted,” (Schlossberg, 2015). He chose the name “Victoria” to evoke the respectability associated with the Victorian era. The idea was that while Victoria was classy on the outside her “secrets were hidden beneath”. The brand was started with $80,000 in 1977 and sold to Leslie Wexler of L Brands for $1 million in 1982. Victoria’s Secret is now the leading specialty retailer of women’s intimate apparel, controlling over 35% of the US lingerie market. The brand is a publicly traded company owned by L Brands. Victoria’s Secret is now worth over $4 Billion and is the largest subsidiary of L Brands making up about 50% of its sales. Company Philosophy “The name is synonymous with all things feminine and sexy.” Victoria’s Secret products are designed for both everyday sexiness and those moments that require a little something special. Business Objectives The Victoria’s Secret Empire has been built around being able to sell its products to everyone.  Selling to Women - The products have sex appeal, but are also designed to be comfortable for everyday sexiness.  Selling to Girls - Victoria’s Secret has a brand segment called PINK which is known for its bright colors and comfortable apparel. It is geared towards younger, high school age girls, who will eventually buy from the parent brand, Victoria’s Secret.
  • 4. 4  Selling to Men - Unlike some of its competitors Victoria’s Secret appeals to men by trying to make their buying experience comfortable, as well as targeting them for gift purchases for their significant others. Slogan While the brand Victoria’s Secret doesn’t have one slogan, it does have different slogans across its advertising campaigns. Most are focused around the theme that sexy lingerie will make women feel sexier. The brand’s new focus has been on claiming that Victoria’s Secret products can give every girl the perfect body; making her feel beautiful in her own skin. This campaign came under a lot of criticismwhen advertisement came out touting the slogan, “The Perfect Body,” which featured similarly built, “impossibly thin, leggy, and large-busted supermodels”. The campaign was criticized for perpetuating body image issues that can supposedly be solved by buying Victoria’s Secret products. We responded to our customers’ feedback by quickly changing the campaign slogan to, “A Body for Everybody.” In-Store Experience Interestingly, women don’t flock to the brand for its low-priced or affordable goods. The brand appeal lies in providing the users with a luxurious experience. The pink wallpapers, visually appealing fitting rooms, experienced and friendly staff, and the continuously fresh and innovative range of products, is what lures the customers in and what has made the brand resilient to industry-wide slowdowns or economic fluctuations. The aspirational factor attached to the brand is also an important aspect, as most women love owning our products (Trefis Team, 2015).
  • 5. 5 US Marketing Strategy Pillars Victoria’s Secret owns 35% of the lingerie market. Below are the marketing pillars used by the company to grow the brand and increase our market share: 1. Connecting with Women Victoria’s Secret strives to use models that are both sexy and approachable. The company even declined to work with Kate Upton because she may seem intimidating to other females (Lutz, 2014). 2. Uniting Stores with Online This is all about making it easy for a customer to view something online and find it in store, or vice versa. 3. The VS Fashion Show In 2012, the show reportedly cost $13 million to put on and reached 9.3 million viewers. The show has become an American tradition and has grown to include famous live performers like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber (Lutz, 2013). According to Victoria’s Secret’s CMO, the brand’s sales increase substantially “the day before and the day after the show with sales totaling tens of millions,” (Amed, 2011). The fashion show represents a large part of the Victoria’s Secret US marketing strategy.
  • 6. 6 Victoria’s Secret Products The Victoria’s Secret’s product portfolio reflects the needs of our target female customers offering products ranging from lingerie to everyday undergarments, sleepwear and loungewear, swimwear, sportswear, clothing, shoes, accessories, and beauty products. Our brand’s diverse offerings have positioned us as a full lifestyle brand. However, since April of 2014 L Brands has been cutting back Victoria’s Secret’s apparel offerings to focus on apparel "’that more directly relates to Victoria’s Secret’s core offering – primarily lounge and the beach lifestyle,’” (Mau, 2014). Currently, US Victoria’s Secret garments are offered in an array of sizes from a size 0 to a size 16 (XS-XL), bras from 30A to 40D, and shoes from size 5 to size 12. Items can be purchased in store, through the Victoria’s Secret Catalogue, and online at VictoriasSecret.com. Bras Push Up Full Coverage Demi Unlined Strapless & Multi-Way Bralette & Lounge Sport Bras
  • 7. 7 Panties Thongs & V-Strings Cheekies & Cheekinis Hiphuggers Bikinis Briefs & Boyshorts No-Show & Seamless Sleepwear Pajamas Sleepshirts & Nighties Lingerie Babydolls & Slips Robes & Slippers Beauty Fragrances Mists Body Care Accessories Travel & Gift Sets
  • 8. 8 Lip Products Lingerie Babydolls & Slips Corsets & Teddies Garter Slips Gowns & Kimonos Bras & Panties Hosiery & Garters Swimwear Bikinis One-Pieces & Tankinis Cover-Ups Athletic Wear Sport Bras Pants & Bottoms Tops Panties & Accessories Clothing & Shoes Hoodies & Tunics
  • 9. 9 Sweaters Tops & Tees Lounge Bottoms Yoga & Leggings Cover-Ups & Dresses Shoes Hats, Scarves, & Accessories
  • 10. 10 Victoria’s Secret Competitive Review Victoria’s Secret has some direct and indirect competition in the market. Our direct competitors are going after the same market segment, while the indirect competitors are offering alternatives to a high-end product. Direct competitors: AdoreMe This fast-growing company has their eyes locked specifically on Victoria’s Secret’s market share. In 2014, the company brought in $16.2 million and is on track to become the top lingerie seller in the US. Their tactic is to do what Victoria’s Secret does, except better, by offering a wider selection of sizes, using technology to gauge their audience’s desires, advertising smartly, and responding quickly to market changes (Schlossberg, 2015). True & Co. Developed with the philosophy that finding the perfect bra is a nuisance, True & Co. focuses on the wholesome experience of getting fitted online and then trying on bras at home. The creators have developed an algorithm that will allow women to find their perfect fit and then send a box of five bras to their home for them to try out. You keep what you want and send back what you don’t like (Rosenblum, 2014). Fruit of the Loom - Vanity Fair While they are not specifically high-end, Vanity Fair focuses on the everyday comfort of the bra. Sophistication, fit, comfort, and support comprise their foundation. They are on the edge of competing with Victoria’s Secret because they go after the same type of consumer, but with less of a focus on intimacy.
  • 11. 11 Frederick’s of Hollywood (only online) Frederick’s actually filed for bankruptcy after not having a profitable quarter since 2007, but they are worth mentioning because their online stores still capture much of the same audience that Victoria’s Secret has. The company was founded by the inventor of the push-up bra, but failed because their marketing efforts were too focused on the message of intimacy instead of the message of ‘every day wear.’ (Source: Lutz, 2013) Indirect Competitors: These are clothing and department stores that also carry intimate apparel. They are considered indirect competition because they are not focused on lingerie and carry many different brands, as well as also offering a wide variety of other items.  Macy’s  Target  Saks  Dillard’s  Chico’s  Nordstrom
  • 12. 12 Home Country Constraints (Index Mundi, 2015) Victoria’s Secret has seen promising growth and success in its US and Canadian locations due to its marketing strategies. The company owns 35% of the US lingerie market and has continual sales growth. Victoria’s Secret has extremely high brand loyalty, an image of high quality, and impeccable marketing tactics. Despite their growth, however, the company is not invincible. There are a few constraints that Victoria’s Secret faces at home: LimitedIncome Since the Victoria’s Secret brand is based on high quality and catering to specific customer tastes, it is considered a high-end brand. This means that it is available only to a certain market segment that can afford these luxury goods. While they capture a good portion of the market, this is a constraint they have to keep in mind.
  • 13. 13 Size Offerings Many potential customers in the US are unable to purchase Victoria’s Secret items because they do not fit (Lutz, 2015). The largest size offered by the company is an XL, which is equivalent to a size 16. In the fashion industry, plus-size clothing is defined as sizes 12 to 24. Many retailers will offer even up to a size 28 to accommodate for all of the possible body types. By limiting their size offerings, Victoria’s Secret is losing out on a huge customer base. Not only do they lose out on plus-size customers, but they also lose brand loyalty and image through the messages their sizing sends out. By sending the message that good looks are defined by a slimsize, they are facing backlash from many customers and the general population. With this current mind set, Victoria’s Secret is facing a market constraint. Rise inCompetition As more competitors enter the market, Victoria’s Secret needs to continually put forth more effort to hang onto their market share. The increase of internet lingerie offerings is putting a damper on potential growth for the company. Internet lingerie brands are able to cater to consumers in a more targeted and dynamic fashion because they have direct communication with the customer through surveys, customization, and direct shipments. They can even build up their brand image easily because of customer feedback and building up an online community. As competition increases, so do the amount of fake products in the market. Since Victoria’s Secret is a luxury good for some people, they care less about the actual quality and more about the “feel” of a look-alike brand.
  • 14. 14 Host Country Data Location: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iran and Kuwait Capital: Baghdad Climate: Mostly desert with mild to cool winters and dry, hot, cloudless summers. The northern mountainous regions along the Iranian and Turkish borders experience cold winters with occasionally heavy snows that melt in early spring and sometimes causing extensive flooding in Central and Southern Iraq.
  • 15. 15 Population: 28,221,180 people as of July 2008 Ethnic Make-up: Arab: 75%-80% Kurdish 15%-20% Turkoman, Assyrian, or other: 5% Religions: Muslim: 99% (Shia 60%-65%, Sunni 32%-37%) Christian 0.8%, Others: Hindu <.1, Buddhist <.1, Jewish <.1, folk religion <.1, unaffiliated .1, other <.1 Government: Parliamentary Democracy Language: Arabic (“Iraqi Arabic”) / Kurdish People: 77% Arabs, 19% Kurds, and the rest a variety of different groups, including Turkomens, Assyrians, and Armenians (Source: Kwintessential)
  • 16. 16 Age: 15-24 years: 19.6% (male 3,237,212/female 3,142,202) 25-54 years: 36.3% (male 6,032,379/female 5,785,967) 50% of the population is under 19 years old (Source: Index Mundi, 2014) Labor Force: 17% of Iraq’s labor force is comprised of women 78% of Iraqis use mobile phones 12% of Iraqis own a personal computer Income per Capita: $7,100 71% of Iraqis live in urban areas (Source: United Nations Development Programme in Iraq) Literacy: 85.7% of men 73.3% of women (Source: CIA The World Factbook) Average Weight: Average Weight (Iraq): 145.58 lb
  • 17. 17 Average Weight (US): 180.62 lb Average Female BMI (Iraq): 25.6 Average Female BMI (US): 29 (Sources: Quilty-Harper, 2012 & Gaille, 2013)
  • 18. 18 PopulationPyramid (Index Mundi, 2015) Iraq has a very bottom-heavy population pyramid. Although it seems almost too perfect, we must trust that the data provided to us represents reality to a significant degree. Predictions for 2050 are also shown to indicate how the age structure is expected to change in relation to what it is currently. Based on this prediction, we can feel confident about using this data to support our marketing decisions. The young population is a strength for Victoria’s Secret, as the majority of the population falls into the target market or as an emerging target market. Not only is the age important, but so is the distribution of males to females. Since they are distributed nearly equally and across the same ages, a good portion of them are at the age where they begin to get married. The selected promotional techniques described throughout this plan capture a majority of the population within these age and gender distributions.
  • 19. 19 Host Country Constraints Gender By law, the Iraqi Constitution states that all Iraqis are equal before the law and prohibits discrimination based on sex. However, the Constitution also states that Islamhas the final word, and it allows each religious group in Iraq to govern over these matters. With this said, Iraq is considered to be one of the most progressive nations in the Middle East, and there are no restrictions on women working or driving as there are in Saudi Arabia. There are defined gender roles for men and women. Women are supposed to be conservative, and are typically responsible for domestic and child-rearing responsibilities, whether or not they work. As such, the mother typically does the purchasing of clothing for herself, her children, and sometimes the husband. War The country has been rocked by a number of wars in its recent history including the Gulf War (1990 - 1991), the Iraq War (2003 - 2011), and the current level of instability within the country which has not yet been declared a “war.” Without delving into the details of the general instability within the region, it is important to mention the risk involved with the political instability and potential for disruption of business activities. Girls - The Role of Age It is important to understand that mothers typically do the clothing purchasing for their children. Thus, apparel brands need to be aware when targeting girls that the end-consumer (“the wearer”) will not be the one making the purchasing decision. Brands need to appeal to the purchaser, in this case the mother. In addition, due to the conservative and religious nature of Iraq it is wise to stay away from being perceived as sexualizing young girls. This is the reason we decided not to move forward with the PINK line in Iraq.
  • 20. 20 Comfortable In-store Experience While not all women in Iraq are fully-veiled, it can still be uncomfortable for them to enter stores like Victoria’s Secret, especially stores with male attendants. In some cases, women will wait until they are out of the country to buy their bras and underwear to avoid this awkward encounter. The challenge here is twofold: getting the women into the stores and making them feel comfortable once in the store. Customer Facing Advertisements &Storefronts In this region, images of women in their bras and panties cannot be shown in public places. Therefore, the traditional pictures and images of “the angels” or the fashion show cannot be used for marketing. Similarly, stores should not make their products or customers within the store visible from the outside. Stores need to be outfitted with curtains or tinted glass to conceal the internal contents of the store. While images of women in nighties may be acceptable in some cases, it is not the case in all stores. The brand is in essence “Victoria’s Secret” – classy on the outside, secrets on the inside.
  • 21. 21 Holidays & Traditions It is a good idea to stay away from promotions on holidays, as Iraqis hold their traditions close. There are opportunities for timing promotions around those holidays or at least recognizing them. By tying into the culture and recognizing when a day is important, Victoria’s Secret can integrate itself into the traditions as a brand without necessarily trying to make a sale. Ramadan: During Ramadan, followers of Islamfast from dawn to sunset to worship and fulfill God’s commands. People try to be on their best behavior and give up any bad habits. It falls on the ninth day of the Muslim calendar. Effects on Victoria’s Secret This is a time when people are more conservative, so they would likely not spend money on indulgences such as lingerie items. Women are encouraged to wear abayas in public and are required to wear traditional clothing when they enter religious buildings and attend services. Additionally, weddings do not take place during this holiday. Eid Al Fitr (End of Ramadan) This marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of the month of Shawwal. During this time, many Muslims attend prayers, listen to sermons, and give charity in the form of food. This is also a time to prepare festive meals, wear new clothes, visit relatives, and give presents to children. Effects on Victoria's Secret Store opening hours may be affected to give people the time to celebrate, but the store would see a boost in sales during this month. Especially since women tend to wear new clothing, this is a time to offer promotions and draw people into the store.
  • 22. 22 Eid Al Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) Marks the occasion when Ibrahim sacrificed his son Ishmael according to Allah’s command to show his devotion. Muslims pray and listen to sermon, wear new clothes, visit family members, and often symbolically sacrifice an animal. This is around the time when many Muslims will travel to Mecca to perform the Hajj pilgrimage. Effects on Victoria’s Secret During this time, many businesses will close or have limited hours. Shopping habits may be affected as women recognize this time of sacrifice. However, it may be an opportunity for the store to contribute to employees’ pilgrimage either by giving then time off or an increase in pay.
  • 23. 23 Weddings Iraqi weddings are full of festivities. Prior to the wedding, there are several celebratory parties. The first is the engagement party, the khitooba, where families come together for dinner, dancing, and to witness the couple’s exchange of engagement rings. Next is the pre-wedding party, the nishan, where the fiancée and his family present the bride-to-be with gold and jewelry. During the nishan, the bride-to-be is expected to change her dress seven times, and each dress should be in different colors such as red, blue, black, off-white, yellow, and purple. The evening before the wedding, the bride has a lailat al henna party for the couple’s family. She and other relatives will have henna applied to their hands. Seven days after the wedding ceremony and reception, the bride hosts a sab’a at the groom’s family home for female relatives and friends. The husband is present but stays in another room during the celebration. The bride will wear her wedding dress or nishan dresses for the party (Monger, p. 378-379).
  • 24. 24 SWOT Analysis Strengths: Luxury Brand Many Middle Eastern women are known for having extravagant lives and spending their money on luxury items. As a luxury brand, Victoria’s Secret will be a desirable location to shop and acquire accessories from. Offering More than Just Clothes Victoria’s Secret sells lingerie, but it also sells a feeling of confidence. Women value feeling like they have significant power over their own lives, especially in a place where that may not be true societally. Other lingerie brands may not be able to get a foothold within Iraq because they fail to spread a message beyond their physical lingerie lines. Additionally, we are orientating the store’s offerings around another service: weddings. Competition is Scarce There are not any luxury lingerie competitors in Iraq that have made a significant impact. This is a strength because Victoria’s Secret will be a market leader in the country – a difficult task, but very rewarding if executed correctly. Brand Recognition; International Reach Iraqis are very brand aware in general. They recognize global brands and seek out the experiences they associate with them. Therefore, they are very likely to already know of Victoria’s Secret, which gives the company an advantage since it has a strong brand image.
  • 25. 25 Weaknesses: Difficult to Market within the Country Being a more conservative society, it is not appropriate to advertise women in lingerie or to advertise scandalous messages. For this reason, we need to find ways to market the company with a different twist. These tactics are risky, because they have not been proven yet and they may not be successful. It is important that Victoria’s Secret raises just the right amount of awareness, the right type of awareness, and targets the desired audience. Lack of Internet E-Commerce Infrastructure Companies do not excel in e-commerce in Iraq because of internet restrictions and shipping complications. While people can access information online, it is difficult to turn those viewers into online shoppers. It is simply not the norm, nor does Victoria’s Secret have the means to focus on making it streamlined. Therefore, the company will have to take this into consideration and find different channels of reaching customers and making sales. Opportunities: Modernization of Fashion Women in Iraq place a high value on fashion. There is a great opportunity to get into the market with fashionable lingerie styles. Not only that, but it also gives the company a good point of entry. For example, if we market a highly fashionable night gown, we can pair that with a matching lingerie set – something that makes the marketing effective, yet discreet. Large Young Population The population pyramid for Iraq reveals opportunities to capture a large portion of the population in our target market. By establishing the brand value within Iraq, the younger population will grow up to already recognize the brand and will seek it out.
  • 26. 26 Threats: Vulnerability in Case of Economic Downturn Luxury brands depend on people to have high discretionary income. During an economic downturn - which has happened and may happen again in the near future – people are more likely to focus on necessities rather than luxury products. Political Instability The Middle East is known for their political instability, which has a long history and likely a long future ahead. There may be unstable fluctuations that impact Victoria’s Secret. For example, if war breaks out and Iraqis are focused on survival rather than indulgence, then Victoria’s Secret will be neglected. Additionally, if bans are put on women or the types of stores that are allowed to operate within the region, the company will have to respond to those changes and will have no say in those decisions. Competitors Also Seizing Opportunities There is the chance that some of Victoria’s Secret’s competitors will also see the opportunities in the region and go after them, especially if they have the means to do so. There is also the threat that e-commerce begins to thrive and that competitors with an advantage in e- commerce will come into the market and take over. It is much easier to spread influence online than to build in-store experiences, which would give them an advantage. Non-Conservative Fashion Shows While marketing in Iraq may be targeted, Victoria’s Secret is still a globally recognized brand. This means that everyone has the potential to hear about what they are doing in one corner of the world. The company has big fashion shows as part of their marketing strategy – something that works very well in the US but that may not be accepted by Iraqis. There is the possibility of
  • 27. 27 tainting our image through these types of marketing events, unless we can have more conservative fashion shows specifically tailored for this region.
  • 28. 28 Objectives & Goals The goal is to become the go-to luxury brand for everyday glamor in lingerie, sleepwear, and bridal gifts. In order to reach that goal, Victoria’s Secret must first enter the country, set up in its two main locations, and market its unique offering to its target audience. Victoria’s Secret will have the short-term objective to position itself as a high-end everyday lingerie brand and a long-term goal to become Iraq’s wedding gift brand for women.
  • 29. 29 Mode of Entry We will enter Iraq through a partnership with M.H. Alshaya, a Kuwaiti private company with decades of experience in bringing American brands to the Middle East. They currently work with over 70 brands, including H&M, Express, and River Island. They operate in 19 different countries and have partnered with us in the past to establish and operate 17 Victoria’s Secret stores in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Egypt, Lebanon, and Turkey. Through this partnership, we will be able to better navigate Iraqi regulations, culture, and traditions, as the company will be responsible for scouting locations, negotiating leases, and hiring and managing employees (Kowitt, 2013).
  • 30. 30 Target Customer Character profile: Name: Amira Laith Gender: Female Family Life-Cycle: Engaged Age: 18-25 Class: Upper Middle Class, to Upper Class Ethnicity: Middle Eastern Education: Currently in School or Recent Graduate of University Future Occupation: Elementary School Teacher Favorite Food: Iraqi Biryani Favorite Drink: Turkish Coffee
  • 31. 31 Favorite TV Show: Guilty pleasure reality TV Clothing: Her closet includes Michael Kors, Tory Burch, and even some Versace. She typically does not wear the hijab. Fun Fact: Amira enjoys cooking for her family and takes pride in making the traditional recipes passed down by her ancestors.
  • 32. 32 Value to Customer Women in Iraq like to dress in fashion and feel beautiful. Knowing that they enjoy style is an important first step to get their attention with Victoria’s Secret, but Victoria’s Secret lingerie will be something a little more personal. The Staple Wedding Gift By offering an exclusive line in the store just for wedding gifts, women will begin to associate the brand with a luxurious wedding gift. Brides will be ecstatic to receive this type of high-end wedding gift and will come to expect at least a few lingerie items for the occasion. Ease and Comfort of Purchase We will de-stigmatize Victoria’s Secret by positioning it as the go-to for wedding gifts. This enables us to expand our advertising and influence in Iraq to make women feel comfortable entering our stores and carrying our merchandise.
  • 33. 33 Product Adaptation “The philosophy is that women are not out there for the world to look at them, so they don’t dress for the general public. But for their family and friends, they dress beautifully. They have magnificent hairstyles, they wear magnificent jewelry and they love lingerie” - Alia Hogben, the Executive Director of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (Stechyson, 2011). Product Line We will be offering our lingerie lines including bras, panties, babydolls, slips, corsets, teddies, gowns, kimonos, and garters as well as sleepwear such as pajamas, sleep shirts, nighties, robes, and slippers. Our sleepwear and lingerie will offer the glamour that our target customers are looking for through luxe fabrics like satin, silk, lace, and velvet as well as traditional Iraqi textiles and fabrics that pay homage to the Iraqi culture. Our products will be offered in rich colors like pinks, greens, teals, purples, and classic black and white to further evoke a sense of glamour and luxury. Considering that the average female BMI of Iraqi women is 25.6, which is less than the US average female BMI of 29, we anticipate lesser demand for plus sizes and will therefore be offering our products in our current sizes of 0 through 12. In addition, our product labels will be written in English, Arabic, and Kurdish to accommodate the main Iraqi languages.
  • 34. 34 Wedding Gifts In light of the many festivities which accompany Iraqi weddings Victoria’s Secret has the opportunity to become a part of these traditions through gift giving. While we will not replace the traditional gifts of gold and jewelry we can supplement them with glamorous lingerie. For instance, the sab’a, which is a female only party to celebrate the couple’s marriage after the wedding, is a great time for friends and family to gift the new wife with classy but fun lingerie sets. In addition, the couple also receives gifts during the wedding reception, presenting another chance for friends and family to gift the bride with lingerie along with the traditional jewelry for the couple’s honeymoon. These lingerie gifts will be crafted in high quality materials such as tulle and be packaged in beautiful boxes, complete with gold foil and tissue paper.
  • 35. 35 Partnership - Jewelry To further elevate our brand we will be introducing a jewelry line through a partnership with an upscale Iraqi jewelry brand. Our line will be exclusive to Victoria’s Secret and feature traditional Iraqi wedding gifts such as diamond and gold pieces as well as gemstones which are reminiscent of the rich jewel tones of our sleepwear and lingerie lines. This jewelry line will naturally align with our lingerie wedding gifts by creating a one stop shop for wedding gift buyers. We will also create a new brand association for Victoria’s Secret in Iraq which positions us as an elegant and classy brand and reduces some of the stigma of lingerie.
  • 36. 36 Placement Storefronts Our products will be sold in elegant, discreet storefront locations. In the same way which Victoria’s Secret founder, Roy Raymond, used Victorian inspired decor to make Victoria’s Secret a less risqué and more comfortable environment for men to shop for their wives’ lingerie. We will be creating a shopping experience for Iraqi women which is in line with their conservative values. Our stores will feature tinted glass to ensure privacy for customers. Our stores would employ only women in order to create a more comfortable shopping experience. Store decor will reflect Iraqi prints and textiles and evoke an upscale luxurious atmosphere. Fitting rooms will be located in an alcove and feature floor to ceiling doors in order to ensure privacy. No men will be allowed near the alcove space. Easy to understand graphics will be present in fitting rooms along with tape measures, to allow women to figure out their correct size, without having someone measure them.
  • 37. 37 Pricing Economic Value Analysis Economic Value Analysis is a pricing technique that prices products based on value rather than costs. It includes the reference value (price of the next best alternative) and then either adds or subtracts the differentiation value based on whether the product is better or worse than alternatives. Direct competitor Pricing (Reference Value) inUSD($): Lingerie Bras Undies Sleepwear Body Care Adore Me 39.95 - $49.95 $39.95 $7.65 $39.95 True & Co. $45 - $70 $16.00 $68.00 $28 - $50 Fredericks $29 - $40 $25.00 $9 - $18 Vanity Fair $40.00 $10.00 $20.00 Victoria's Secret $50 -100 $50.00 $14.50 - $20 $50 - $80 $8 - $30 Discounting Iraqis have an affinity for high quality goods, and therefore are willing to pay more for goods that they believe are high quality or status enhancers. As a result, Victoria’s Secret in Iraq will usually have full price items and use occasional large sale discounts to entice aspirational purchasers. We will have three major yearly sales which coincide with celebratory holidays. We
  • 38. 38 will hold a 40% off sale for New Year’s and two 30% off sales to commemorate each Eid celebration. Inflation Looking at the inflation rate over the past five years, it doesn’t seem to be too consistent. To account for this, the brand may pursue a strategy of establishing long-term contracts with suppliers or distributors, or insert a clause in the paperwork that allows for adjustment according to inflation. Typical Basket/Affinity toSpend Compared with other U.S. cities like New York or Boston, the Iraqi consumer spends about 45- 60% less on clothing and apparel. To account for this, the Victoria’s Secret Iraq customers will typically pay about 30% less. The reason for not dropping the prices to be more affordable stems from our desire to be positioned as a luxury brand. Iraqis have an affinity for luxury brands and other status indicators. We are targeting upper middle class and upper class customers, the brand needs to appear a luxury, but remain attainable.
  • 39. 39 Victoria’s Secret IraqPrices: $1 (USD) = 1139.75 Iraqi Dinar (IQD) Price on Tag in USD Price on Tag in IQD Lingerie $40.00 - $100.00 56,987.50 - 113, 974.99 Bras $40.00 56,987.50 Undies $12.50 - $20.00 16,526.37 - 22,795 Sleepwear $40.00 - $80.00 56, 987.50 - 91,180 Body Care $8.00 - $30.00 9118.00 - 34192.50
  • 40. 40 Promotion Message Be Exquisite Advertising The biggest advertising challenge for Victoria’s Secret in the Middle East is the inability to show real models wearing the lingerie. We plan to tackle these advertising challenges in a few ways:  Show models in sleepwear, jewels, or wedding apparel with the slogan “Be Exquisite”.  Store-front advertising will be using a combination of pictures of women in jewels or wedding apparel as well as the plain pink branding colors. Store will use tinted white glass, and customers will not be able to see the interior of the store from the outside.  Wedding Advertising - In an attempt to associate ourselves with weddings and the gift giving traditions that follow much of our advertising will consist of showing couples at wedding festivities sometimes wearing our jewelry line or toting our statement Victoria’s Secret bag. o These ads will feature both male and female models.
  • 41. 41  Jewelry Advertising - Faced with the challenge of being unable to show our lingerie products on models we will be featuring advertisements with models wearing jewelry from our line. This further brands Victoria’s Secret as a luxury brand and wedding gift destination.
  • 42. 42 Wedding Parties As an extension of our focus on weddings, Victoria’s Secret will host wedding parties where the bride’s close friends & family can come into Victoria’s Secret and pick out gifts for the bride together. Refreshments will be provided and attendants will be available to help the ladies select anything from sleepwear to jewels and lingerie.
  • 43. 43 InvitationOnly Party In keeping with our luxury focus we will host a yearly invitation only party in May, before the beginning of wedding season and Ramadan, where the rich and elite women of Iraq can get exclusive access to our debut jewelry and wedding collections. We will host the party at a luxury venue such as a country club or hotel with ample security. In an attempt to entice the aspirational segment of our customer base we will be giving away two invitations to our exclusive party during our 40% off New Year’s sale. Customers will be given a scratch ticket with purchase which will give two lucky customer invitations to the party. Print Campaigns As the brand becomes associated with weddings, we will start advertising through a few print mediums such as magazines (especially wedding magazines), billboards, and a few mailings.
  • 44. 44 Media Social While there are many active social media users in Iraq, and many companies using social media as a means of creating brand awareness, the nature of Victoria’s Secret products does not allow us to use this channel. Encouraging people to publicly follow their favorite underwear brands would be the equivalent of broadcasting your favorite sexy lingerie. Website  E-Commerce Problems: Initially, the website was seen as a great way for women to buy online without having to go through the potentially uncomfortable experience of going to the store. Upon further research, the online shopping environment is not developed enough to host an e-commerce website, and a lot of other brands aren’t using this channel. The primary problem seems to be the lack of network security and inability to convince consumers otherwise.  Re-purposing the Website: Instead of having a website for e-commerce purposes the site will instead be used to display products and answer questions. In 2013, a startup called Amourah launched a blog in the Middle East and created a place for women to ask questions and get advice on their bra and undergarment problems (Schroeder, 2013). The blog thrived off of the fact that many women were too uncomfortable to ask their questions in store, so instead they felt more comfortable asking online. Victoria’s Secret online will have a similar forum to ask questions in online chat style, and the sales attendants can recommend products that might resolve their problems. The online sales attendant can give the person a product ID number to show the attendant once in store.
  • 45. 45 LocationStrategy The initial strategy will be to open two stores within shopping malls in Baghdad and Erbil. Together these territories include 14 million people, a little less than half of the entire country’s population. Although some people shop in traditional bazaars and small neighborhood shops, the upper classes and expatriate communities are now increasingly choosing to shop in Western-style shopping centers (Marsh, 2012). As our target market is the upper-middle class and upper class, Victoria’s Secret will open its first stores within shopping malls in large cities.
  • 46. 46 Baghdad, Iraq Mansour Mall The Mansour mall opened in 2013 in central Baghdad. Customers initially feared that having many people in one small area would be a target for bombings. However, in order to get into the mall entrants must pass by armed guards and both males and females are searched and patted down (in separate rooms). Overtime, the people have nearly forgotten their security concerns about the mall and the place has turned into a getaway for entertainment. The four story mall provides movie theaters, a children’s arcade and a mini amusement park (Hennessy- Fiske and Bulos, 2014). The mall contains stores such as the Loft, Clarks, ECCO, and Timberland. The mall is frequently packed as it has become a place to shop as well as a local hangout. Although some people find the stores “pricey” they still admit to making purchases of their favorite items.
  • 47. 47 Erbil, Iraq Majidi Mall The Majidi Mall opened in 2009 and has become one of the largest shopping and entertainment centers in Iraq. It has three floors and contains over 67 stores including the likes of Adidas, Levi’s, Nike, PUMA, and United Colors of Benetton. Like the Mansour Mall, it also contains a movie theater and arcade. The ability to have entertainment aspects other than just shopping draws consumers into the malls more frequently. The mall is known for having “international chain stores and genuine brand name designs” making it a popular destination for wealthier residents and tourists (Rasoul, 2014).
  • 48. 48 LocationExpansion Plan We have chosen to open in two mall locations within the larger cities in Iraq. Looking further into the future, if our sales goal of $1.5 million in profit within each store is met, we will be opening more locations within the country with the same mall store location strategy.
  • 49. 49 Performance Measurement In order to carry out our objectives and goals, Victoria’s Secret in Iraq will have to reach a series of benchmarks. Knowing when that benchmark is reached marks a performance measure. Short Term:  Objective: Gain entry into the Iraq market.  Measure: Paperwork is signed and entry is granted.  Objective: Analyze the target audience’s tastes in order to tailor marketing efforts.  Measure: Surveys are collected and on-site research reports are submitted.  Objective: Set up in two target locations.  Measure: Stores are leased, built, and stocked. Long Term:  Objective: Ensure store performance is sustainable.  Measure: Assess sales after 6 months and 1 year to reach targets. Each store should generate around $1.5 million in gross profits per year1.  Objective: Ensure customers are satisfied.  Measure: Conduct surveys and research to get feedback from customers to achieve above 60% satisfaction. 1 Calculationsarebased off of 2013 financial data (BS,2013).$5,000 million gross profit/ 1,146 total stores = $4.3 million grossprofits per store. Estimate is made from a per-store gross profitcalculation in theUS and adjusted for the fact that it is a new store and focusingonly on lingerie.
  • 50. 50  Objective: Establish Victoria’s Secret in Iraq as the premiere wedding gift destination.  Measure: Customer brand associations with Victoria’s Secret and weddings as gathered from market research.
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  • 55. 55 Trefis Team. (2015). L Brands Success Story: Let's Try Uncovering Victoria's Growth Secrets. Retrieved November 30, 2015, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2015/09/14/l-brands-success-story-lets-try- uncovering-victorias-growth-secrets/2/ UN Iraq, (2013). Women In Iraq Factsheet. Retrieved October 26, 2015 from http://www.iau- iraq.org/documents/1864/Woman-Factsheet.pdf United Nations Development Programme in Iraq (n.d.). About Iraq. Retrieved November 30, 2015, from http://www.iq.undp.org/content/iraq/en/home/countryinfo.html Victoria's Secret Stores, LLC. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2015, from http://www.vault.com/company-profiles/retail/victorias-secret-stores,-llc/company- overview.aspx