UK retail giants Next and Marks & Spencer have shown interest in being the franchise partners of international lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret. Next is also currently expanding its wider business by linking up with a large number of brands in multiple categories and is also growing by opening standalones in expanding categories, such as beauty.
M&S meanwhile is forging stronger links with external brands as well, after most of its history was dominated by its own label. It is looking closely at complementary guest brands to broaden appeal and increase online growth.
As it seeks growth opportunities, it would make sense to take on a major name in the intimates sector in which M&S already has a dominant position in the UK. It currently has a 27 per cent share of the overall lingerie market and 36 per cent of the market for bras, although this means any deal it might strike could attract the interest of the competition authorities. Regardless of which brand eventually wins control of the chain, it's likely that they'll want to seek better deals from landlords in terms of rent and service charges.