Body Shop Retail Strategy

Topics: The Body Shop, Anita Roddick, Human rights Pages: 12 (3314 words) Published: November 28, 2011


The Body Shop International plc, known as The Body Shop, has 2,400 stores in 61 countries, and is the second largest cosmetic franchise in the world, following O Boticario, a Brazilian company. The Body Shop is headquartered in Little Hampton, West Sussex, and England, was founded in 1976 by the late Dame Anita Roddick and is now part of the L’Oreal corporate group.  

The Body Shop is a manufacturer and retailer of skin and hair care products based on natural ingredients. The company employs over 4000 employees.   The Body Shop made £604.4 million in worldwide retail sales, a turnover of £293.1 million and an operating profit of £38.1 million in the fifty-two weeks ended 28 February 1998.

The original company to produce and sell naturally based products; it created a whole new market sector.  With over 400 skin and hair care products and over 500 personal hygiene and accessory items it is estimated that between 1997 and 1998 a sale was made every 0.4 seconds with over 86 million customers visiting The Body Shop stores worldwide.  

Presently, the company’s Chief Executive Officer is Patrick Gournay and Anita Roddick, The Body Shop’s founder, is Co-Chairperson with her husband, Gordon Roddick


“You’ve got to be hungry – for ideas, to make things happen and to see your vision made into reality.” The history of The Body Shop starts with its founder, Anita Roddick.  The daughter of Italian immigrants, she grew up helping her parents run the family café.  Having made travel her dream and ambition, when she was old enough she went to work for the International Labour Office of the United Nations in Geneva, on a Kibbutz in Israel and at the International Herald Tribune in Paris.  Through these occupations she fulfilled her dream and travelled the world.  It was through this travelling that Anita was exposed to exotic countries such as Mauritius, Polynesia and Tahiti.  Witnessing the women’s skin and hair care rituals she said, “I just lived as they did and watched how they groomed themselves without any cosmetic aids.  Their skin was wonderful and their hair was beautifully clean.”  Observing these women use cocoa butter and pineapple juice as skin treatments was the initial inspiration for the first Body Shop.  

After returning from her travels, Anita Roddick met and married her husband Gordon Roddick.  When he got the travelling itch Anita was left to support her and their two daughters.  And so, in 1976 she opened the first Body Shop in Brighton funded by a £4000 bank loan.  The shop was to sell skin and hair care products made from the natural recipes she had discovered whilst on her travels.


“Strategy is about two things: deciding where you want your firm to go, and then how you want to take it there,” Economist (1998).  The Body Shop states in their International Mission Statement that they will continue, “to passionately campaign for the protection of the environment, human and civil rights, and against animal testing within the cosmetics and toiletries industry.”  The company describes itself as, “a high-profile advocate of social and environmental causes.”  In fact, ethical, social and environmental responsibility is at the very core of The Body Shop’s strategy: profits with principles.  

Anita Roddick’s, “aim is to prove that business can and should be a force for positive social change.  The company believes that its values are every bit as important as its products and profits, using its stores as platforms to promote its core campaigns of human rights, animal protection and environmental issues,” Taken from company profile of Anita Roddick.

The Body Shop approach to ethical business operates on three levels:- 1)      Compliance: opening up to defined standards of human rights social welfare and worker safety, environmental protection and, where relevant, wider ethical issues like animal...
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