Stores Fear that Victoria’s Secret Is Going to Bring All Kinds of Riffraff to London’s Bond Street

There's a Victoria's Secret coming to Bond Street, London's famous shopping drag, and some warily modest observers are worried that it might attract the wrong sort of element to the otherwise stately row of stores that don't display their underthings in the window, thank you very much.

The new Bond Street Victoria's Secret will open later this August, an event that will be heralded by models, celebrities, and criticism from the Bond Street Association, which is fielding polite objections from other stores that Victoria's Secret will "lower the tone of the area." Although the 121-year-old department store Fenwick initially denied reports that it has been quietly objecting to the new three-story lingerie castle and the "kinds of shoppers it will attract," the Bond Street Association admits that it could "understand that some might feel they want to object."

Lingerie is a huge industry in the U.K. and still strong despite the looming possibility of a second recession. Victoria's Secret has made fancy, well-made lingerie affordable for more consumers, so its arrival on Bond Street, though feared by existing stores, will be a welcome addition. According to acting editor of Harper's Bazaar Jenny Dickinson, Victoria's Secret will appeal to British women because the company's models "have something real about them. They're slim, but they also have curves. For the buying public, it's all about wanting to be those women."

The company will really make its presence felt, though, by how it caters to men shopping for wives and girlfriends (or, you know, whomever, no judgment unless the relationship is creepy), since in-store sales teams routinely seek out male customers, give them paper bags to breathe into, and then calmly guide them through aisles and aisles of dismaying underthings. Little by little, Victoria's Secret will acclimatize Bond Street to its presence and the Bond Street Association, however many backroom complaints it fields about gangs of roving lingerie shoppers waving pink bags full of bras at the elderly, will realize that a big underpants store increases foot traffic and probably drives up business for every store in close proximity to the Victoria's Secret display window of suggestively posed mannequins.

Some British Don't Want To Let Victoria's Secret Onto Bond Street [Telegraph via Business Insider]