• "The lingerie chain, part of L Brands Inc., last year rolled out a new line of sports bras, including push-up varieties that let women show off their cleavage at the gym. The move was part of an increasing focus on activewear clothes, such as figure-enhancing workout pants and training shorts."
• "So far, though, sales haven’t met the company’s initial ambitions. Victoria’s Secret ordered too many sports bras in the summer and fall of 2013 than it could sell, leaving it with excess inventory, Chief Financial Officer Stuart Burgdoerfer said this week at an event in New York. Even so, the retailer expects to sell the bras without marking them down, he said."
• “'We bought enough to hit a home run, but we hit about a double or a triple,' Burgdoerfer said at the Barclays Retail and Consumer Discretionary Conference. 'We have grown that business very nicely, but we bought a lot of sports bras.'”
Takeaway From McGough:
No surprise that Victoria’s Secret has a tough time executing on activewear that is actually intended for activity. We were surprised by the brand's scores in our two consumer surveys looking at Lululemon specifically and the female activewear market more generally - the one caveat is that VS/Pink shoppers predominately wear the brand's activewear offerings for everyday wear. Higher than Gap, Old Navy, Calvin Klein, and H&M. Vicky should focus on the fashion aspect of this trend and leave the performance aspect to those who do it best.
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Editor's Note: This is a complimentary research excerpt from Hedgeye Retail Sector Head Brian McGough. Follow McGough on Twitter @HedgeyeRetail.