In this investigated essay I will be comparing the environments and merchandising strategies of two lingerie retailers Victoria’s Secret and Boux Avenue. I choose these two retailers because they occupy a competitive market share. The essay will go in depth about each retailers store layout, interior design, exterior design, exterior architecture, window display, in store promotional imagery, atmospherics, product presentation and service culture. The essay will also look into academic theories regarding consumer behaviour for each category.Victoria’s Secret is a lingerie brand that features well-known supermodels, world-famous runway shows and specialises in women’s lingerie, fragrances, body care, accessories, athletic and lounge wear. Victoria’s Secret founder Roy Raymond didn’t want to appear suspicious when buying women’s underwear, therefore he wanted to create a brand to be an exciting and sexy process that would make men feel comfortable. Raymond officially launched Victoria’s Secret in 1977, which was targeted at men. Victoria’s Secret is now a retailer for women where their products are sold in over 1,600 stores worldwide and online. (Schlossberg, 2018).Boux Avenue is a lingerie brand that specialises in lingerie, nightwear, swimwear, bridal and accessories. The brand is owned by founder Theo Paphitis who launched the first store in 2011. Boux Avenue’s name was inspired by a French waitress who served Paphitis whilst on holiday in France. The brand caters for everybody, not matter what you age, size or style. Boux Avenue is a retailer for women and you can purchase their products online and across 28 store in the UK plus 12 international stores across 5 countries. (Boux Avenue Global, 2018).DISCUSSIONStore LayoutClodfelter notes that the ‘store layout and displays are key elements of your promotional plan. Visual merchandising includes the layout of store facilities and the placement of merchandise in the store to stimulate customer desire’. (Retail Buying: From Basics to Fashion, 2018). The sales of Victoria Secret and Boux Avenue can be significantly higher due to their store layout which can attract customers towards the product. This theory is well explained by Turley & Milliman (2000), where a survey was conducted in retail environments about the influence on consumer behaviour and decision making.I decided to visit Victoria’s Secret flagship store on Bond Street in London to observe their store layout. The store has four floors with over 40,000 sq ft of retail space. (Fashion.telegraph.co.uk, 2018). Walking through the store entrance, I entered the twilight zone. There was a mannequin placed in the middle of the store and the fixtures and settings were on display in the distance. I also visited Boux Avenue flagship store on Oxford Street in London to observe their store layout. The store is on one level with over 3,000 sq ft of retail space. (Evening Standard, 2018). Entering the twilight zone, there was a clothes rail straight in front of my view.As Boux Avenue have a considerably less amount of sq ft of retail space than Victoria Secret, I felt like they were squishing all their products in. I didn’t have time to orientate myself when entering the store opposed to when I entered Victoria’s Secret. Victoria Secret have an expensive rent space as it is allocated to a high volume in items and higher customer traffic flow areas, whereas Boux Avenue will have a cheaper rent space due to a lower number of items and lower customer traffic flow area despite being on Oxford Street.Victoria’s Secret and Boux Avenue store layout are very similar. The majority of their products are in drawers as opposed to hanging rails and stands. Both retailers use abstract mannequins. ‘According to a survey mannequins have proven up to 70% growth in sales of different fashion stores’ (Dwell, 2018) therefore both retailers using the same abstract mannequins are showcased best for lingerie.Victoria’s Secret and Boux have used their space management effectively by using every single space filled with their products and ensured a mix of products are present. There’s accessories, perfume, nightwear all mixed together and complementary categories throughout the stores. Both retailers require both disproportionately large areas such as furniture and also withstand disproportionately small areas that held their accessories. Throughout the stores, both retailers have converted their numerical data into a workable layout, considering these inflexible elements through fares, entrance, lifts, stairs, service areas, specialist areas, destination areas and storage areas. They both have a play area in front of their fittings rooms for their customer to enjoy.Victoria Secret and Boux Avenue space elasticity shows throughout their store layout. There was an increase in space given to their everyday wear lingerie across two floors and in Boux Avenue the back of the store was allocated to lingerie. This results in an increase of sales.Although, Varley (2006) notes that ‘the position of a product or category within its lifecycle can guide retailers when making decisions about the depth of their assortment, differentiation to gain competitive advantage and profit performance’. According to this theory, Victoria’s Secret space allocation variant would be classed as Profit Builders as they restrict the amount of space but allocate the best quality in order to boots volumes, whereas Boux Avenue will be classed as Traffic Builders as they have several sale signs in their window display to pull customers into the store. 618 wordsInterior Design(Diamond and Pintel, 2018) note that ‘With the vast windows that once graced every brick-and-mortar location no longer a prominent as they once were, retailers have turned over the sales floors to the visual teams to do their magic’. Victoria Secret and Boux Avenue have taken this magic and incorporated it into their interior designs.’To keep that brand fresh, the Victoria’s Secret team updates its store design every five or six years’. (Visual Merchandising and Store Design, 2018). Victoria’s Secret interior features gold details, upholstered wall coverings and crystal chandeliers. The interior has high gloss finishes and captivating photography. Other interior design elements include carved mouldings and elaborate decorative paintings.Boux Avenue interior design consists of white satin sheer curtains which complement their products alongside with carrera marble-effect flooring, textured cream wallpapers, moulded panelled walls and gloss-lacquered furniture. In the fitting rooms, customers are welcomed with luxurious thick carpet. There is inspiration taken from theatre and stage sets, burlesque to fashion shows and boutique hotels.Victoria Secret and Boux Avenue both share similar interior designs. Both retailers invite their customer into a luxurious shopping experience. WRITE MOREMaslow (1943, 1954) stated that ‘human motivation is based on people seeking fulfillment and change through personal growth. Self-actualized people are those who were fulfilled’.According to this theory, both retailers apply humanistic psychology, which examines concepts like basic needs and self-actualization. This type of psychology is perfect for ? because it ties in close with consumer behaviour. Victoria’s Secret and Boux Avenue are selling their products in this type of environment, so we can use this psychology to target their consumer base.