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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Post# 216 - Victoria's Secrets - Half Off Everything Catalog

Herman Letters Staffer, Larry Barnowski wrote this letter to Ms. Cynthia Fedus, President and CEO, Victoria's Secret Catalogue, sent 3/20/1998:

Dear Ms. Fedus,

As a loving husband and father, I must praise you for your fine products and catalogues.  I can attribute at least six of my eight children to your lingerie products.  As a Marketing Specialist at one of your competitors, I know the business all-too-well.  Your universal appeal to men sells just as much product as does your appeal to women.

The main reason that I write is for employment information.  In a few months, Winkleman’s, a Michigan-based woman’s clothing store, will close its doors forever.  While I feel morally obliged to “stick it out” until the wrecking ball strikes, I owe it to my wife and eight children to line up a job in the mean time. 

I perform at my peak in a challenging atmosphere, where my contributions have an impact.  I am smart, ambitious, outgoing and am seeking a stimulating, fact-paced, exciting atmosphere.  Since I religiously browse your weekly catalogues, I can begin work, already a resident expert! 

Let us be honest--flesh sells.   Magazines like Hustler and Penthouse defame women in a tasteless fashion, yet sell millions of issues each month.  Unlike those repulsive rags and the floozies who grace their pages, I find the women posing in Victoria’s Secret catalogues to be very tasteful.  With this in mind, I wish for your input on my first idea. 

Wouldn’t a “Half-off Lingerie Sale” catalog, featuring fifty percent savings, as well as models depicted with the apparel “half-off” be a great promotion?  Men everywhere would flock the phone lines in droves to deplete your warehouses of these sensual items for their wives, girlfriends, mistresses and interns everywhere.  It can’t miss!  If you use my idea, the only compensation that I request is two weeks notice so I can buy Victoria’s Secret Stock.  Is that on the NASDAQ?

Please let me know the prospects of employment that currently exist at Victoria’s Secret.  I am willing to start at the bottom.  Also, I am interested in receiving a catalog.  I appreciate your time, Ms. Fedus.

The Only Man in America to Ever Have Touched the Back Wall of a Victoria’s Secret Store,

P.S. Just what is Victoria’s Secret?
Carolyn Rainwater-Cooper's response, dated 4/20/1998:

Dear Larry,

Thank you for your recent correspondence.  Your letter addressed to Ms. Fedus was forwarded to our attention so that we may personally respond to your concerns.

Mr. Barnowski, we appreciate your suggestions; suggestions can provcide directions for future merchandise and services.  As a leader in the industry, Victoria's Secret Catalogue takes great interest and initiative in making changes beneficial to our customers.

Because you requested a catalogue, we enclosed two (2) current issues with this correspondence.  We hope you will find these of use.

For your reference, Victoria's Secret Catalogue is a division of Intimate Brands, Inc., which is listed as IBI on the New York Strock Exchange.

Regarding your inquiry concerning employment opportunities, your correspondence has been forwarded to our Human Resources Department for review.

Victoria's Secret Catalogue is pleased by your interest in our company.  It is our hope thay we may be of service to you in the near future.


Carolyn Rainwater-Cooper
Customer Service Specialist
My response to Ms. Carolyn Rainwater-Cooper, Customer Service Manager, sent 4/27/1998

Dear Ms. Rainwater-Cooper,

You have a very pretty name.  I appreciate you forwarding my correspondence to your cronies over in H.R.  Hopefully you’ll get a chance to try one of my homemade orange-cranberry muffins, which I like to bring into the office each and every Friday for my fellow employees.  Usually, I keep a coffee can at my desk to take up a small collection (whatever people can give).  The money that I raise helps defray the rising costs of muffin ingredients.  But until I hear from Human Resources, it looks like it’ll be muffins-for-one.  But don’t feel sorry for me—I’m walking two miles each morning before taking the kids to school.

Two questions—first—did anyone comment on my “Half-off Lingerie Sale” idea?  I’m interested in the feedback.

Next, you didn’t answer my question about Victoria’s Secret.  Just who is this Victoria, and what is her secret?  I’ve seen article after sad article in my health magazines about the life-shortening stresses caused by keeping a secret all wrapped up inside.  It’s not worth it in the end.  So do share.

Lastly, I have my own coffee mug, which should ease the transition.  It says “World’s Greatest Dad.”  I like to fill it with coffee, but if Victoria frowns upon coffee, I can drink juice or even just water.  I’m flexible and up to the challenge.

Looking Forward to a Day When I Can Market Lingerie,

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