The brand currently has 200 stores in 65 cities in India. It plans to open 300 more stores in another 50 cities by 2025.
The Anita Roddick-founded British company, The Body Shop, is known for its naturally-inspired skincare, body care, hair care and makeup products. It has been operational in India since 2006, and has been on a journey of making changes in the country’s market.
“The Body Shop’s the first international beauty brand to set up in India, one of the strongest markets for it. Globally, the brand isn’t what it is without its relationship with the Indian market. One of the big reasons for its success in India, is its ethical positioning,” shares Antara Kundu, GM marketing, brand relations and customer acquisition, The Body Shop Asia South.
With an explosion of brands in the beauty category over the last few years, the brand has been on an expansion spree. It currently has 200 stores in 65 cities in India, and plans to open 300 more stores in another 50 cities by 2025.
Kundu says, “The brand is set for expansion in Tier-III and IV cities. We’re already at a certain level of maturity in some metro cities, with an existing footprint of 200 stores. We’re planning to open at least 30 activist workshops per year and 300-plus stores by 2025.” These activist workshop stores will help customers to easily recycle their beauty product packaging.
She also mentions that almost 15% of the brand’s business last year, came from smaller towns. Keeping this in mind, The Body Shop is planning to open stores mostly in smaller towns and cities.
“We’re looking at adding at least 15 new cities to the footprint by 2025. We want to be where our consumers are. Our last couple of store setups have been in Northeast India, in cities like Itanagar and Imphal.”
Pointing towards e-commerce growth, Kundu says, “We’ve moved from 10% share of the business, up to 25%. E-commerce has grown almost 110% over 2019. We’re expecting to grow in double digits in 2023.”
Omnichannel: the way forward
With algorithms changing and controlling brands, the brand moved to a more agile and quick kind of media mix, post-COVID. Its marketing investments are 50:50 between offline and online.
“Pre-pandemic, our business was 90% retail and 10% e-commerce. Today, we are at 75% and 25% respectively. Previously, we were primarily looking at offline marketing and more traditional media mix. Our marketing strategies have evolved to focus on building omnichannel resilience. By omnichannel, we mean communicating to the consumers, being accessible, etc.,” mentions Kundu.
Going ahead, the brand is also planning to strengthen its portfolio. It will have all its products certified by The Vegan Society by the end of 2023. “We’re aiming to be a 100% vegan globally by the year-end.”