Victoria’s Secret is poised to emerge from the pandemic stronger than it went in — thanks to a fresh new look that includes curvier models and slimmed down shelves. Yes, the hot pink walls and padded pushup bras are still there. But the lingerie brand famous for only using skinny models to sell its version of a male “fantasy” has been quietly updating its decades-old image in other ways, including advertising that’s now peppered with plus-sized models like Devyn Garcia and Candice Huffine. “In the summer, Victoria’s Secret used the pandemic as a reset,” said retail consultant Gabriella Santaniello, chief executive of A Line Partners. “It finally got its act together and started featuring plus size models.” Even as it expands its consumer base, including by adding XXL pajamas and larger bra sizes, it’s becoming more selective about the items it sells in stores, which has more consumers buying at full price, observers said. The changes, while subtle, appear to be paying off — despite the pandemic crushing foot traffic at malls where many Victoria’s Secret stores reside. The L Brands’-owned lingerie seller, which is one of the nation’s largest mall retailers with more than 900 stores, was forced to
Dollar General will offer frontline employees four hours worth of pay after they get the COVID-19 vaccine, the discount retailer said Wednesday, making it one of first US companies to incentivize its workers to get inoculated. The retailer, which has about 140,000 employees, said that it was providing hourly employees the one-time benefit to compensate for the time away from the store, while they received the vaccine. The company added that it was working with distribution and transportation teams to make similar accommodations and said it was providing salaried employees additional store labor hours. The discount store chain did not mandate all employees to get the vaccine, but encouraged them to do so. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people over 75 and essential workers are scheduled to receive the vaccine in a later phase, after healthcare workers and nursing home residents. Dollar General was deemed an essential service during the lockdowns, and became one of the few retailers to remain open for people to buy groceries and other daily supplies. US companies so far have been shying away from discussing vaccine mandates.
Shares of Petco rose in their market debut on Thursday, giving the pet retailer a market capitalization of $5.69 billion. The company’s shares opened at $26, 44.4 percent above its initial public offering (IPO) price of $18 per share. Petco offered 48 million shares and raised $864 million in its IPO. Petco’s debut comes in a week that could be the biggest week for new listings in over five years, as companies rush to cash in on the strongest market for IPOs in nearly two decades, after a pandemic-driven lull last year. Founded in 1965, Petco is among the biggest pet retailers in the United States with nearly 1,470 brick-and-mortar pet care centers across the country, according to a regulatory filing by the company. The company’s owners, CVC Capital Partners and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), were considering a sale of the business last September at a $6 billion valuation, besides a traditional IPO. CVC and CPPIB acquired Petco from TPG Capital and Leonard Green and Partners for about $4.6 billion in 2016. Petco has posted a net loss of $24,826 on net sales of about $3.58 million in the 39 weeks ended Oct. 31, the filing showed. Goldman Sachs and BofA Securities were the lead underwriters