When Victoria’s Secret announced that it would no longer be selling its highly popular line of swimwear in 2016, many customers responded with anger and confusion. The highly popular line of swimwear boasted massive sales for the lingerie brand in previous years. A decision to discontinue the product was announced in 2016 when Victoria’s Secret sought to focus on athleisure and lingerie. The decision to bring the swimwear line back was likely due to declining sales in recent months. When the company became the subject of controversy back in November, people began searching elsewhere for their lingerie and athleisure products.

Why Now?

Victoria’s Secret made the announcement this week that it would be bringing back swimwear to its laundry list of products available on its website. The company made the announcement via Twitter shortly before a new section of the site went live. The swimwear offered on the website will be a combination of the Victoria’s Secret label and products from other companies. This is a change from when the company previously sold swimsuits. Back before the products were discontinued, Victoria’s Secret sold only its own line of swimwear.

Making the move back into swimwear isn’t something Victoria’s Secret is going to be able to achieve in the same way it did before. With a sudden hole in a massive market, many other companies saw ample opportunity to be able to profit off of Victoria’s Secret’s mistake. Companies like Target amped up its swimwear line to prepare for the influx of shoppers looking for new products. Today, the lingerie brand will have significantly more competition than it did before. Target currently leads the market in the swimwear category, according to Adweek. Victoria’s Secret previously held that title before suddenly discontinuing its swimwear line in 2016.

Controversy

The decision to migrate back into swimwear is likely due to the fact that Victoria’s Secret is currently undergoing a sort of crisis. It’s been a rough few months for the company, as it’s been working hard to shake the controversy tied to its name after the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. In an interview with Vogue back in November, Ed Razek, the Chief Marketing Officer of L. Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret, famously said that Victoria’s Secret has no room for transgender or plus size models. The CMO also mentioned that there are brands for those demographics, but that Victoria’s Secret is not one of those brands. The comments angered many and Victoria’s Secret has seen a decent decline in sales ever since.

Inclusive Brands To Consider Instead

Aside from Razek’s comments about transgender or plus-sized models, the company has suffered after not growing its sizing to be more inclusive. Other companies like Savage X Fenty have made an effort to offer sizing inclusive of all body types. Meanwhile, companies like ThirdLove have made a genuine effort to offer sizes and products that emphasize function and fit over allure.

Maybe it’s time for Victoria’s Secret to change its strategy regarding lingerie, athleisure and swimwear. It’s become increasingly clear that companies that offer products for women should be created and operated by women. Victoria’s Secret may be able to save themselves with swimwear, but after a couple of years off the market their demographic may have just moved on in that department, too. The new swimwear line will be available on the Victoria’s Secret website in March.