Naama Barak
May 6

For years, Israeli women traveling abroad wouldn’t dream of returning home without an obligatory stop at Victoria’s Secret. But that no longer need be the case – the famous lingerie company has recently opened two stores in the Holy Land, after months of delay due to the war.

The two stores, in malls in Haifa and Petah Tikvah, were ready to roll months ago but remained shuttered for a long time. Officially, the delay stemmed from logistic hurdles in light of the war. 

According to Israeli media, the actual reason behind the delay was the company’s concern over backlash in its profitable Arab markets and in international opinion with regard to the war between Israel and Hamas.

Furthermore, according to local media reports, multiple international brands previously interested in opening up branches in Israel have decided against such a move due to the ongoing war and concerns over international backlash.

Instead of the grand opening usually associated with the brand, the two stores opened without much fanfare, following in the footsteps of an Israeli Victoria’s Secret website that has been in operation since last year. 

Shopping bags from Victoria's Secret. Photo by Yuliya Machulan via
Shopping bags from Victoria’s Secret. Photo by Yuliya Machulan via

Victoria’s Secret is franchised in Israel by veteran local underwear company Delta, which also recently opened five Bath & Body Works – part of the L Brands conglomerate that owns both brands – across Israel. The brand specializing in soaps, fragrances and lotions is another Israeli favorite that until now was a must-stop store for Israelis traveling abroad. 

L Brands was founded by Jewish American billionaire Les Wexner, who also heads extensive Jewish philanthropy and leadership programs in the United States and Israel. 

Another international brand that launched in wartime Israel is Shake Shack, the NYC-based hamburger chain.

Unlike the opening of Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works, the opening of the burger joint on Tel Aviv’s famous Dizengoff Street was a buzzy affair that saw customers line up for a considerable amount of time to get their hands on a burger smothered in the chain’s famous sauce.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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