Body Shop goes back to its campaigning roots with new London store
In an age of increasing consumer activism, The Body Shop is returning to his activist roots and has opened a new concept store in central London to help it in that aim.
The company was founded by Anita Roddick with a very activist outlook but that profile has eroded somewhat in recent years with rival brands, such as Lush, being seen to take more of a campaigning stance.
But now The Body Shop, which was recently taken over by Brazil’s Natura, has made-over one of its busiest stores for the new concept that features an activism zone where shoppers are encouraged to take part in campaigns. The store also has a water station where visitors can refill water bottles and includes a product refill area too, initially for shower gels. It's interesting that the company has had such an area previously but was forced to abandon it around 20 years ago due to a lack of use on the part consumers.
But with many retailers now adopting the idea as consumers increasingly call out for a reduction in packaging waste, the concept has been revived.
The store is in a crucial retail location, just opposite Bond Street tube station on Oxford Street, and is its busiest location out of its 242 UK shops with footfall driven by a mixture of London workers, UK and international tourists.
The fit-out of the shop has also been accomplished with sustainability in mind including materials rescued from landfill and other reclaimed materials.
And with recycling very much in mind, shoppers will be incentivised to return empty bottles and other containers from any brand.
With a focus on fun and experiences as much as shopping and campaigning, the company will monitor the response to the new location and said that some of its features could also be used in shops in Europe and North America.
Managing director Linda Campbell said the company wants to revive the campaigning spirit of Anita Roddick.
She also said that sales in the UK have risen 4% in its most recent period and that the company will open a cash-free shop in the revamped Broadgate shopping centre in Liverpool Street station, London next year.
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