MILAN — The angels are taking over Milan.
After years of speculations and an official confirmation in 2018, a Victoria’s Secret flagship is to bow on Dec. 11 in central Milan.
Located inside the Galleria del Corso skirting central thoroughfare Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, the new unit will occupy two floors of the four-story building once home to luxury department store Excelsior Milano, which closed in 2019.
Covering 21,500 square feet, the unit will carry the brand’s signature innerwear collections under the Dream Angels, Very Sexy, T-shirt Bra, Sexy Illusions and Body by Victoria monikers, in addition to fragrances, small leather goods, travel accessories and pajamas.
Italian retail and real estate development firm Percassi, which signed a franchise deal in 2015 with L Brands Inc., Victoria’s Secret parent, will serve as the Italian partner for the unit. The latter will offer a one-on-one bra-fitting experience and is to debut a personalization service to offer customized embroidery. A delivery service will also be available.
Through the franchise deal with Percassi, the American innerwear company had opened two full-assortment stores in Italy, including one in Rome’s Porta di Roma, in addition to one outlet store and 13 Beauty and Accessories doors, including units in Milan’s Via Torino; Arese; Carugate, and at the Bergamo-Orio al Serio airport. Banners at Malpensa and Linate airports were opened before the agreement with Percassi.
Victoria’s Secret has more than 1,600 doors globally, in addition to an e-commerce site.
The company is seeking to turn the brand around. While still the market-share leader in the U.S. women’s intimate apparel business, Victoria’s Secret’s market share has steadily declined over the last five years to account for 16 percent as of last September, according to market research firm The NPD Group.
Earlier this week, the company tapped Raúl Martinez, head creative director of Condé Nast, as its creative director, starting in January, as its latest attempt to revive the business.
Founded in 1976 by Antonio Percassi, Percassi is known for its beauty brands Kiko Milano, Madina, Womo and Bullfrog and for its role in bringing Zara to the Italian market. The firm has also worked with a range of major brands, from Gucci and Ferrari to Swatch on local retail developments.