Roy Raymond (April 15, 1947 – August 26, 1993) was an American businessman who founded the Victoria’s Secret lingerie retail store.
Raymond was an alumnus of Tufts University and Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Raymond worked for the Vicks company in their marketing department.
He opened the first Victoria’s Secret store at the Stanford Shopping Center after feeling embarrassed trying to purchase lingerie for his wife in an awkward, public department store environment. To open the store, he took a $40,000 bank loan and borrowed $40,000 from relatives. The company earned $500,000 in its first year. He quickly started a mail ordercatalog and opened three more stores.
In 1982, after five years of operation, Raymond sold the Victoria’s Secret company, with its six stores and 42-page catalogue, grossing $6 million per year, to Leslie Wexner, creator of The Limited, for $1 million. By the early 1990s, Victoria’s Secret had become the largest American lingerie retailer, topping one billion dollars. In FY 2009, Victoria’s Secret was worth over $5 billion USD.
In 1984, Raymond started My Child’s Destiny, a retail store for children, that went bankrupt in 1986.
On August 26, 1993, Raymond committed suicide by leaping off the Golden Gate Bridge at the age of 46.