When L’oréal bought The Body Shop in 2006, the international group of cosmetics wished to benefit of the line environmentally friendly and ethical brand, and relied on the booming demand for products based on natural ingredients. Because The Body Shop was created in the 1970s by the British Anita Roddick, close to the antiglobalization movements, known for his fights against animal experiments, the refusal of child labour, respect for the environment and fair trade. If the products are not organic, they are, at least, ethical.
Only, the growth of The Body Shop has never really taken off within L’oréal. In 2012, the brand was attempting to revive itself by launching a new store concept, ” Pulse “, with make up sessions, product testing, origins of the ingredients told by the vendors, a “wall of values” with NGOS (non-governmental organizations) partners, etc in Short, the chain insisted even more on the line.
Plant but not bio
Despite these efforts, the results do not meet the giant of the beauty. With nearly 3,000 stores in 60 countries, the operational margin of The Body Shop (5.7 per cent) is well below the whole of L’oréal (of 17.4 %).
How do you explain that The Body Shop, which, however, seem to place themselves on a promising niche, do not meet the expected success ? “A part of the answer lies surely in the positioning of this range finally atypical in the L’oréal group, analysis Laurence Coiffard, a cosmetologist and a teacher at the university of Nantes. She is as focused on the plant (the shea butter is a lot put forward, in particular), but lack surely of the code of the natural (green color very present in Yves Rocher for example). This n’is not a range labeled organic, that can meet the expectations of the consumers who was afraid of the cosmetic conventional. “
Customer L’oréal is not one of The Body Shop. ” The consumers attracted by the L’oréal products are looking for rather luxury products (Lancôme, Helena Rubinstein, etc.) or the security of the pharmacy (La Roche Posay, Vichy), or a low price (Mixa, Garnier), but not of the plant that is not even organic” concludes Laurence Coiffard.
In fact, L’oréal and its products are perceived as less ethical would have discredited The Body Shop, the more that The Body Shop would not have valued The’oréal on a promising market… If one adds to this the development of a competition better established (Yves Rocher) or younger (Nux, Origin’s, Natura, Fresh, Dr Hauschka, Sweet to Me), The Body Shop has lead in the wing.