2005 Sep Issue
Cover Story
Select CITYWALK A new-age shopping centre for the New India
a new look at retailing
Epson pushing limits to be at forefront of digital imaging
The Body Shop makeover features new look, new store identity
WWFE05 raises international profile via US programme


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The Body Shop makeover features new look, new store identity



PART of The Body Shop group’s £100- million (US$175.65 million) overall investment in brand development over a three-year period involves rolling out a new concept this year to its 250 stores worldwide, including 30-35 outlets in the Asia-Pacific.

Better signages, directional lighting and impactful window posters set on a fixed system are some of the features that the UK-based cosmetics-andtoiletries retail group has introduced as part of its store makeover initiative.

These changes can be seen at the 452sqf store in Tampines Mall in Singapore, The Body Shop’s first in Asia to be remodelled.

Said Colin Buchanan, regional director, The Body Shop International, Asia-Pacific: “This is a wonderful new look for The Body Shop which we believe customers — loyal and new — will absolutely love. We have designed this store with the customer foremost in our minds. We’d love our customers to feel as if they are discovering something new every time they walk into the store.”

The new design, developed based on feedback and the best practices of stores around the world, has resulted in a more modern outfit, with simple and clear displays that are bright and open. The aisles are also wider to accommodate the shopper on wheelchair as well as parents pushing baby strollers and prams.

The Body Shop currently carries over 600 products and more than 400 accessories in each of its stores. New products are launched all year long.

Each product range has its own clear, well-lit space, with testers and detailed advice panels to guide customers on their buying choices. Every make-up stand is back-lit to draw attention to its products, inviting customers to play with the testers. Eye-level mirrors have been added to the displays, along with handheld mirrors for wheelchair users and magnified glass for the visually impaired.

The retailer has also been mindful of the environment when making the changes. The store’s flooring, display fixtures and shelvings are derived from environmentally-sound materials. The floor is laid with composite stone made from waste marble while the glass shelving is fashioned out of waste glass, which is produced using less energy.

In some stores (not those in Singapore), hemp is used to cover the backdrop of their display panels. The bamboo veneer on the flexible, mobile display units in The Body Shop also comes from a source that is certified by the US-based Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), a non-profit organisation that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests.

Finally, all paint used in the stores is non-toxic, with a low level of VOC (volatile organic compounds). This is better for both the environment and the customer.

Andy King, global director of marketing and the brainchild behind the makeover project who was in Singapore recently, elaborated on the group’s latest initiative. “The strategic direction of The Body Shop is global and, in the vast majority of circumstances, all elements of the business are consistently global. However, in some cases, adaptation is necessary at a regional or local level. For example, a number of markets in the Asia-Pacific region have undertaken impactful mall events external to the store. This has been possible due to most shopping in Asia taking place in malls.”

King added that the company’s social and environmental campaigns most often have both global and local objectives. “The Body Shop in each market will partner with a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in the country to ensure that the campaign will have a positive effect at a local level. [One] example is the ‘Stop Violence in the Home’ campaign currently under way in the Singapore outlets.”

The Asia-Pacific is one of the fastestgrowing markets for the group. At end- February 2005, operating profits of The Body Shop International rose 19% to £36.2 million on sales, said King. “The Asia-Pacific saw a 12% growth in retail sales and contributed 26% to revenues, making the region the group’s second-largest division after the [Europe/Middle East/ Africa] region,” said King.

The company is targeting a 15%-20% growth in operating profit in its current financial year, King told RETAIL ASIA.

The Body Shop is planning for another 40 new and refurbished stores this year in its existing markets in the Asia-Pacific, said King. The group has 558 stores in the region: 71 in Australia, 28 in Hong Kong, 41 in Indonesia, 106 in Japan, 60 in Malaysia, 23 in New Zealand, 40 in the Philippines, 30 Singapore, 73 in South Korea, 54 in Taiwan and 32 in Thailand.

“We are also working on entry into China where we see good opportunities for the brand,” said King.

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