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They were little pick-me-ups that popped up in our mailboxes from time to time — coupons for a free pair of Victoria’s Secret underwear.
But the lingerie retailer’s famous “free panty” coupons are no more. Victoria’s Secret will stop offering the vouchers because they weren’t good for the company’s bottom line, according to the Washington Post.
The hope was that when women went in to pick up their free undies, they’d also end up buying a bra or a bottle of perfume. But it turns out that 40 percent of customers who redeemed the coupons didn’t buy anything else.
Also, the coupons, along with other frequent discounts and deals, made the Victoria’s Secret brand seem less exclusive, said Stuart Burgdoerfer, an executive with Victoria’s Secret’s parent company, L Brands.
“Do they drive volume? Yeah,” he told the Washington Post, but also warned that “you can sell Mercedes on discounts, too ... so you got to be careful about how you’re driving that volume and what it does to the brand over time.”
Free panties are just the latest casualty of Victoria’s Secret’s major brand shakeup this year. In April, the lingerie giant axed its swimwear and clothing offerings, including Uggs, and it has stopped printing the legendary Victoria’s Secret catalog.
The company is also rethinking its focus on traditional underwire bras as less structured “bralettes” soar in popularity.
It’s too early to tell how all these changes will shake out, but there’s one thing we know for sure: It’s the sad end of an era for free thongs, hiphuggers and boyshorts. We’ll miss you, "free panty" coupons!