By Jasmine Brianna Ellison
Victoria Secrets is known to have an elegant, yet, unintimidating environment. However, this atmosphere is one that is reserved only for the customers. Employees are not as pampered and have reported environments where staff is overworked and undervalued.
Between harassing customers about the Angel card (in which they do not receive commission), being torn from task to task before completion, lack of hours in off season and high expectations during the holiday season, the only way to climb the Secret’s ladder would require you to literally make lingerie your full time job.
In February 2017, an employee from the Meriden, Conn. location left a review on Indeed, stating, “The management team is nice but they are very strict and sales focused.” Furthering, “The hardest part of my job would have to be the pressure to sell. If I don't sell a certain amount per hour, my job will be terminated and that is a very heavy thought on my mind.”
However, most retail associates are not eager to become lifelong Bra specialists, and have other priorities like school or career goals that limit their dedication to the job.
Beyond the sales expectations, employees are required to keep the store in a very specific manner. Corporate provides an electronic blueprint of what each location should look, from the amount of the panties in each drawer to the specific sizes placed on display.
Unfortunately, this means staff is obligated to organize the panty bar, even throughout shifts where the store is hosting what might be your favorite Semi-Annual Sale.
“The hardest part was the time management. We always had an overabundance of product we were required to stock the floor with plus the back room with overstock. My store was in a mall so we barely had room to walk to the manager’s office where our break table was, let alone find room for an excessive amount of merchandise.” Another employee wrote on Indeed in October of 2017 of the Meriden, Conn. location.
One associate stated in February 2015, “The hardest part [of the job] is being expected to maintain fairly high sales per hour in order to keep your job.” As a result of the underlying sales goals, folding panties with your head down can cause an anxiety that you’re not completing all of the tasks of your job description.
Additionally, regardless of predetermined close time, most employees are left folding merchandise well after their shift ends during large sales.
Although female employees escape the grotesque realities some women endure when working in male dominated environments, they are still subjected to a job that has a lot of expectations and very little reward.
1. Michelle Malia. What It's REALLY Like to Work at Victoria's Secret. Jnauary 2015.
3. Dahlen Mitzalis. What it’s really like working at Victoria’s Secret. January 2016.
4. Katie Heaney. 21 Secrets Victoria's Secret Employees Will Never Tell You. November 2015.
5. December 2018 unemployment rate for Connecticut. Connecticut Department of Labor. 2018.