Premium Beauty News - What does The Body Shop represent today?
Alexander Borwitzky - The Body Shop’s designated core businesses are cosmetics and body care, though the main focuses are the classic bath and body products.
The company operates over 2,500 retail stores worldwide in more than 60 countries through franchise or fully owned shops. In Germany, The Body Shop runs 83 company-owned stores and 11 franchise shops.
The Body Shop defines itself as the leading nature-inspired and ethical beauty company.
Premium Beauty News - What would you define as your main assets in the current economic climate in Europe?
Alexander Borwitzky - Firstly, The Body Shop as a manufacturer’s brand with its own retail store chain has the benefit to directly communicate with its customers. Our retail staffs are the best ambassadors of the brand and they are able to convey our value system into the market. This is a big factor of success and an advantage in comparison to classic manufacturer’s brands that cannot draw upon direct customer contact.
Secondly, the so-called “truthful difference,” that our company represents. The Body Shop is motivated and powered by the ideas of Anita Roddick, its founder. Since more than 30 years, the company has shown a highly successful combination of an effective business model through its ethical value system. The Body Shop’s values and commitments - i.e. the combination of innovation, high quality, fair price-performance ratio, inspiration from nature and a strong social commitment - mark our difference in the competitive environment.
For instance, 100 % of our bottles are made from “post-consumer-recycled” material. And, wherever possible, The Body Shop avoids secondary packaging.
This is what customers observe and appreciate.
Premium Beauty News - Marketing processes also need to be adapted?
Alexander Borwitzky - Actually, The Body Shop’s marketing structures are being decentralized. Our aim is to be as close as possible of the market. As far as pricing and product portfolios are concerned, the decision level will be located in several decentralised specific regional-markets. We are organizing ourselves according to small market clusters, such as Germany and Austria.
Of course, The Body Shop remains a global brand with centralised product development and marketing strategies, but the implementation of these strategies has to be managed and adapted as close as possible from the customer.
Premium Beauty News - Your latest launches seem to be marked by a greater sophistication of the offer.
Alexander Borwitzky - The Body Shop concentrates on becoming even more innovative. Especially mentionable is the new product series: Nutriganics. It is an Ecocert-certified, complete, natural skin care range for the thirty-something designed to fight the first signs of ageing (around 15 euros per product).
We also launched a new type of products in the segment of antiperspirants. The innovative DeoDry series were developed without any aluminium salts! They are based on a naturally occurring volcanic mineral (Perlite), which guarantees a very high effectiveness.
Premium Beauty News - What are your main expectations for the coming months?
Alexander Borwitzky - As far as Germany retail sales are concerned, we expect a stimulation of the economic situation within the second half of 2010.
Our key target is to expand our network and to open new shops. We already open 4 new stores in Germany and 6 other should open by the end of 2010.
In addition, the company has successfully started online sales through the www.thebodyshop.de. This new distribution channel make The Body Shop becomes accessible to customers living in areas where the opening of new shops wouldn’t be economically reasonable.
The Body Shop is also testing sales in pharmacies in Germany.
Our aim is to increase the penetration rate of the world’s leading nature inspired and ethical beauty brand.