Body Shop Sells Out

Discussion
Mar 17, 2006
George Anderson

By George Anderson


There will be those who believe The Body Shop’s founder Dame Anita Roddick gave up the cause when she sold the chain to the cosmetics giant L’Oreal, but that’s not how she sees it.


“They (L’Oreal’s management) understand what a maverick The Body Shop was in the business world and how we helped change the language of business, incorporating the action of social change, especially in human rights, animal welfare, the environment and community trade,” she said in a released statement.


L’Oreal, which has pledged to continue following the principles The Body Shop was founded on, will retain Dame Anita as consultant for the chain and corporate community trade efforts.


Adrian Bellamy, chairman of The Body Shop, said in a released statement, the deal “will provide significant strategic impetus to the Body Shop’s growth plans for its three retail channels of stores, direct selling and e-commerce around the world.”


Mr. Bellamy added, “L’Oreal’s significant strengths in the management and development of global brands, combined with our skills as a global retailer with strong values commitments will be a powerful combination, in the cosmetics and personal care market place with corresponding opportunities for our employees, franchisees and The Body Shop consultants.” 


Moderator’s Comment: What will L’Oreal ownership of the Body Shop mean for the retailer and its customers?
George Anderson – Moderator

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7 Comments on "Body Shop Sells Out"


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M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
14 years 11 months ago

I should have named my daughter “Dame.” What a cool moniker. She could then be forgiven for uttering statements like, “We helped change the language of business.” Raise your hand if you’ve never heard of The Body Shop and its revolutionary revamping of “the language of business.” Okay, lower your hands. You’re accelerating global warming.

Santiago Vega
Guest
Santiago Vega
14 years 11 months ago

I agree with my fellow panelists’ opinions that this acquisition will help The Body Shop to continue growing globally without deterring it from the brand’s socially-responsible roots.

Additionally, I think this acquisition signals an important acknowledgement from an influential global powerhouse, that companies driven by higher standards of business ethics and social responsibility can be profitable organizations, and actually do have an advantage over the crowded market of brands that do not subscribe to this mode of doing business.

Bernice Hurst
Guest
14 years 11 months ago

Although I can’t really see either Mark or Bernie’s logic in why L’Oreal will be good for Body Shop, I am one customer who is willing to wait and see. After all, anti-bad big business as I so vocally am, I still buy the odd tub of Ben & Jerry’s.

Bernie Slome
Guest
Bernie Slome
14 years 11 months ago

By keeping Dame Anita Roddick as a consultant, L’Oreal has shown that they will stick to the tenets of the Body Shop. Given the financial clout of L’Oreal, this sale should benefit not only the Body Shop, but also the customers of the Body Shop. This change in ownership should serve to strengthen the Body Shop brand.

Mark Lilien
Guest
14 years 11 months ago

L’Oreal’s ever-improving financials are excellent, year after year. They stem from consistently great marketing of high margin nondurable products to higher-end consumers. It’s reasonable to assume they’ll find world-class people to run The Body Shop. Ultimately, if the strategy is right and the people are excellent, continued success is very likely. It’s unlikely that great managers would try to merge the brands and confuse the public.

Carol Spieckerman
Guest
14 years 11 months ago

This is a great move for both companies and I see no reason why it would alter Body Shop’s image or brand promise. Much as Estee Lauder has left their disparate acquired brands/companies to their own identities and processes (MAC, Origins, Prescriptives, La Mer et al), L’Oreal will have a vested interest in letting Body Shop continue to do what it does best; offer natural cosmetics into a loyal fan base…and now in multiple channels.

Ragnar Haugan
Guest
Ragnar Haugan
14 years 11 months ago

L’Oreal will bring to The Body Shop exactly what they need, – a professional system for flow of products and high level operational management. The Body Shop nearly broke “the back” because their supply of goods and operational level never caught up with their ability to communicate with their core customers. And their core customers – they “hate” everything that L’Oreal stands for.

I think the Dame will be busy answering questions related to L’Oreal’s willingness to follow up the basic idea of The Body Shop. So, we will have to wait and see — Will the customers accept the new ownership and are the women of today more phlegmatic about “save the world ideas”? If the answer is yes, The Body Shop will have a great future together with L’Oreal.

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