“The Body Shop bath, body and hair products will be fully recyclable by 2025”

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The Body Shop has completed 15 years of operations in India with its offerings capturing a decent market share. A decade and a half of doing business in India also means a fair share of unique challenges. According to Shriti Malhotra, CEO, The Body Shop India the last decade has been rich in events and learning.

She shares, “India is a large and diverse market and our approach to opening The Body Shop stores across the country in large and small towns even 15 years ago has proven to be very successful. A key challenge is that India’s per capita spending on beauty remains a fraction of its global peers. Even after adjusting for lower per capita income, spending on beauty and personal care products remains low. For a feminist brand, women in our stores and in our workplace have been the backbone of the business, but for many years we have faced a daunting task in recruiting, training and retaining female teams. Today, women represent 60% of our workforce. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming workplace for all communities and genders. ”

Evolve over time

With the pandemic changing consumer behavior and expectations and ever-increasing competition, brands have had to evolve to stand out and stay relevant.

According to Malhotra, “ The founding principle of The Body Shop as a force for good and its commitment to being goal-oriented has kept it strong and relevant. The aim of the brand “Fighting for a fairer and more beautiful world” revolves around 3 key elements. The fight reminds us that we must all be activists and lead change. Our founder Anita Roddick said, “Activism is the rent we pay to live on the planet. The Fair is about our gaze resolutely turned towards social justice, doing what is right for people and actively supporting those who are less privileged. And Beautiful World reiterates our commitment to our environment and sustainability, at a time when climate change is undoubtedly and visibly impacting all of our lives. ”

Further developing the brand’s efforts in favor of sustainability and environmental protection, Malhotra shares: “With the rise of new, young and intelligent consumers who are ethically engaged, a lot of transparency is demanded. Our goal is to use less plastics and more plant-based and recycled plastics where possible, and to help people around the world reuse, reuse and recycle. “

In May 2019, the beauty brand launched the world’s first fair trade recycled plastic packaging created from plastic waste collected by the waste picker community in Bengaluru, India. According to Malhotra, over the past 2 years, the global initiative has sourced over 400,000 kg of recycled plastic and has been able to provide livelihoods for over 600 waste pickers who are mostly women. She says that currently over 68% of The Body Shop packaging can be recycled.

“By 2025, all of our bath, body and hair products will be fully recyclable. Our longer term goal is to develop a circular model for our packaging, which means to reuse or reuse 100% of our packaging. We stay relevant with an affordable body. care and skin care products and a strong line of masstige products with powerful natural ingredients, ”says Malhotra.

Reach consumers through multiple channels

After the digital explosion caused by the pandemic, most brands are constantly striving to find the perfect omnichannel balance. Speaking of the approach, Malhotra adds, “There is no single channel, rather we have a smooth multi-channel approach to engage with consumers“ anytime, anywhere ”. We have a large social and online customer base and reach over 20,000 PINs in India.

“WhatsApp shopping started as a test and we plan to expand it. Our virtual and assisted selling approach has been a growth driver. We offer video consultations, WhatsApp purchases, same day delivery and online delivery. 60 minutes thanks to partnerships with local logistics providers. ”

Interestingly, the brand has seen its e-commerce revenue increase multiple times, and revenue from the brand’s online store and online marketplace has increased from 15% before Covid to 40% in 2021.

On the distribution side, the brand continues to expand its stores across the country. It enjoys good traction with around 50% of its income coming from Tier 2/3 and smaller towns.

Adds Malhotra, “We are on track to open new stores in Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Kochi and Pune. We are also expanding into Tier 2, 3 and Tier 4 cities. We recently opened new stores in Lucknow, Dehradun, Srinagar, Gangtok, Dimapur and Bilaspur, and soon in Manipur. We also have exciting plans to launch a new store format, our “activist workshop” with product charging stations and we are seeking regulatory approvals. “

Regarding the year-on-year growth, she shares: “… Level 1 and urban centers are the most affected. We hope to achieve double-digit growth in 2022. ”

Marketing strategy to run The Body Shop

Traditional methods of marketing have had to be changed in the post-pandemic world. The confinement has indeed helped The Body Shop evolve its communication strategies and keep it on its feet, according to Malhotra.

“We engaged our audiences around the issues that matter most to them, about self-care, positivity and inclusion. Our #TimeToCare program was launched to engage followers in conversations about self-care, home rituals, wellness with a focus on mental health and happiness.

“We also rallied around communities that were disrupted during Covid and in need of support and financial assistance. As we return to normal at work, we have undergone a complete workplace transformation and are moving forward with it. flexibility, empathy and welcoming the needs of the new work culture, ” notes Malhotra.

She informs us that at The Body Shop, CRM, personalized communication and social media channels drive two-way engagement and have the highest allocations on the brand’s budgets.

“We add additional loyalty benefits, answer personal questions, educate beauty consumers on product formulations, create skin care regimes, provide important reviews and passionately campaign for causes we believe in. During the pandemic and now, we have kept our content honest, simple, fresh, relevant and locally relevant to Indian audiences, ”she says.

Activism and social problem solving has been a central theme of The Body Shop’s message. Malhotra shares that he also speaks to the TG as the brand has never been more than an average cosmetics company.

She explains, “ The goal of The Body Shop is to fight for a just and fair world and that motivates everything we do. In Our fight against the sex trafficking of women and young children, we have engaged with our customers, friends and family around the world. We have raised awareness and raised funds, obtained signatures of petitions and market. End Period Shame in partnership with CRY India helped tackle menstrual poverty, menstrual shame and lack of access to menstrual supplies in Delhi / RCN slums. With the Community Fair Trade program, working directly with farmers, where our long-term commitments have benefited over 300,000 marginalized people. ”

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