Body Shop Research

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The Body Shop Research Proposal

1. Background and Rationale

The Body Shop International PLC is a skin, hair and body beauty products retailer operating from its headquarters in Littlehampton, West Sussex. Founded in March 1976 in Brighton by Dame Anita Ruddick, the brand regards itself as an original, natural, ethical and environmentally aware beauty brand. The organization currently operates 2500 stores in over 60 markets worldwide. Through out the years the Body Shop has developed its brand identity based on five core values: Support Community Fair Trade, Defend Human Rights, Against Animal Testing, Activate Self-Esteem, and Protect Out Planet.

The organization began its environmental quest in 1985 when it sponsored posters for Greenpeace. A year later, it launched an Environmental Projects Department with “Save the Whale” as its first major window campaign with Greenpeace. It then introduced its “Trade Not Aid” program to the public in 1987 to help “alleviate suffering and poverty around the world”. The program today is known as Community Fair Trade, which allows the Body Shop access to nature’s finest ingredients, and in return it offers the suppliers a stable long-term income.

In 1990 The Body Shop Foundation was established, a charity which funds human rights and environmental protection groups and in 1991 its first project, the Big Issue Paper for homeless people was launched. Following this, the New Academy of Business was introduced as an innovative management initiative, which addresses environmental and moral issues.

The organization continued to increase its environmental practices by switching to Ecotricity, which continuously provides them with energy from renewable sources. Also a number of their stores began operating utilizing green electricity. Today the Body Shop aims to reduce their impact on the environment through new light fixtures and store signs, which have been tailored to reduce energy usage.

The Body Shop continued its social awareness through a series of successful campaigns such as its campaign against animal testing which has lead to a UK-wide ban against the use of animals for cosmetic product and ingredient testing in 1998. It further supported this cause by signing up to the Humane Cosmetics Standard, which is endorsed by international animal protection groups. And in 1995 and 1997 the United National’s Environmental Program recognized its Value Reports as one of the highest in International Corporate Reports.

In 2002, the Body Shop ran a global campaign in collaboration with Greenpeace to promote renewable energy. The organization continued its “commitment to environmental sustainability through investment in renewable energy through funding efficiency projects in the developing world and incorporation post-consumer recyclate material into their packaging.”

The organization continued its commendable work as a patron for the environment by joining the Board of Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil, working with NGO’s and plantations to protect tropical rainforests. And in 2006 the Body Shop was awarded with the PETA’S Proggy award for its commitment to stop animal testing.

In 2006, the company became part of the L’Oreal Group and was de-listed from the London Stock Exchange. However the Body Shop still retains its core business focus on ethical and environmental values as stipulated by its founder who passed away in 2007.

The organization operates a customer reward programme, known as Love Your Body™ with consumers rewarded with 10% off their purchases as well as free gifts and member only benefits. The organization also operates The Body Shop At Home™ which is its in home product ordering scheme.

The Body Shop offers products across hair, skin and beauty ranges. The ingredients utilized are sourced as naturally as possible, but many contain chemicals where necessary for quality, safety or efficacy purposes but only where no suitable natural...
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