The Zaful truth: is Victoria's Secret doomed to oblivion?
If you're wondering about the title of my thread, yes, it's sort of a pun, but I will explain. First, I wanted to mention something about the Victoria's Secret fashion show which was held last week in Shanghai, China but was notable for the absence of a couple of big stars who were originally scheduled to appear, Katy Perry and Gigi Hadid, but were banned from the show by the Chinese government. Katy Perry was banned after Chinese authorities saw a clip of a show she performed in Taiwan wearing a sunflower-patterned dress which is the symbol of Taiwan, which is apparently a no-no with the People's Republic of China. Gigi Hadid was banned after Chinese authorities saw a clip of her apparently mocking eye expressions of Chinese people. While I'm sure that drama gave Victoria's Secret some unwanted attention, I think sonething elese may give them some serious nightmares in the future.
If you haven't been following business news lately or gone down to your local shopping mall, you may not have noticed that the brick-and-mortar retail industry is suffering some serious financial woes right now. A number of previously popular stores have gone out of business, several more have filed for bankruptcy, and others are barely hanging on. A lot of reasons for this decline have been advanced, most notably the rise of online shopping, with Amazon being the Tyrannosarus Rex of the ecommerce field. While Amazon has made a huge dent in the shopping field, it isn't the only reason brick-and-mortar stores are going downhill. Part of that has to do with private equity hedge funds like Bain Capital buying retailers with debt financing the stores can't possibly pay back, part of it is the middle class being squeezed and having less income to spend, and part of it has to do with (those darned) Millennials changing their shopping habits from previous generations. Victoria's Secret is in better financial shape than other reatil outlets, but they have been bitten by the retail woes bug like most other brick-and-mortar stores. They branched out with their Pink! stores in order to compete with stores like H&M, Zara, and Old Navy, but now they may have to worry about another competitor which began just three years ago but is apparently growing really fast.
Enter Zaful. They are an online store that began selling swimwear at discount prices but branched out into other female apparel and are notable for selling nearly all of their items under $20.00 apiece. The catch is it comes from Hong Kong, and you may have to wait a couple of weeks for your items to appear at your front doorstep. While Victoria's Secret is known for its beautiful, sexy supermodels displaying their wares in numerous print and TV ads, Zaful is literally going the social media route, letting average Millenial women try their products and displaying them all over Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram in exchange for honest reviews. I got aware of this company after initially wtaching some fan-created music videos of 80's classic rock music with sexy Playboy, Maxim, and Victoria's Secret models, and then having one of these review videos coming up in my suggested YouTube feed. I then found out there are literally hundreds of these videos all over Youtube. And these are some of the review videos which I have posted here.
I saw this and thought this company could put a lot of other stores out of business, especially since given the choice of trusting some flawless-looking supermodel or a girl like Courtney in Toledo, OH or Megyn in Albuquerque, NM who looks like the average Millennial woman, they will most likely choose their social media friends in a heartbeat. And the fact that these clothes are under $20.00, they will buy a lot of stuff from this place.