The Body Shop is a popular brand of health, oral and personal care products headquartered in London, United Kingdom. The company was established by Anita Roddick who is an environmental and human rights activist and her vision was to make ethically made beauty products. The Body Shop which is valued at 3.379 million USD has a product portfolio which comprises 900 skincare, makeup, body butter, aromatherapy, hair care and bath and body products.
The Body Shop owns and operates around 3049 stores in around 66 countries across the world. The company also has an online portal as well as a multi-level marketing modeled in home shop option called The Body Shop at Home. Till the year 2017 the company was owned by the cosmetics major L’Oreal after it acquired the brand in the year 2006.
However, in the year, 2017 L’Oreal sold the business to French cosmetics company Natura. With around 17,000 employees worldwide, The Body Shop registered an annual turnover of 1.4 billion USD in the year 2017.
Strengths in the SWOT analysis of The Body Shop
Strengths are defined as what each business does best in its gamut of operations which can give it an upper hand over its competitors. The following are the strengths of THE Body Shop :
- Positioning: The products sold by the Body Shop are all made out of natural ingredients which are dermatologically safe for all skin types. Even their packaging is done using biodegradable material making it a very green and sustainable brand. This unique positioning of The Body Shop is its biggest strength.
- Franchising Strategy: When Roddicks owned the company there was a clear onus for franchising and it was not easy to become a franchisee of the Body Shop. The aspirant had to personally meet Roddick who would ask them questions and her decision was final and based on the passion that they had for the brand and the beauty industry. This helped the brand to gain a lot of momentum during the early years of operation. It can also be seen that most of the franchises were and still continue to be operated by women.
- Sustainability: Roddick was a champion of a lot of social causes and an environmental and human rights activist. These values are reflected in all aspects of the corporate governance of The Body Shop. Right from using renewable and biodegradable packing material to sourcing from non-fossil fuel derived materials, The Body Shop has been true to its new CSR approach Enrich not Exploit.
- Focus on problems: Rather than just creating products, The Body Shop has been looking at skin or personal care issues that women face and their rage is dedicated to resolving specific issues. This has helped them connect better to their customers.
- Importance to women: More than 72 percent of employees of The Body Shop are women. Majority of their franchisees, as well as beauty consultants, are also women. The importance given to women in the workplace has always been one of the core strengths of the business.
Weaknesses in the SWOT analysis of The Body Shop
Weaknesses are used to refer to areas where the business or the brand needs improvement. Some of the key weaknesses of The Body Shop are:
- Pricing: Anita Roddick felt that customers would be willing to pay a higher price for products with natural ingredients and during the early years of business this was true. However, as competition picked up The Body Shop struggled with high prices and lost a lot of business to competitors.
- Loss of focus: The over-focus on the environment, protection of animals and human rights diverted the attention of the company from its core business which was cosmetics. The customer was also confused with whether the company was into the cosmetics business or was championing green initiatives.
- Unable to match up: The Body Shop was a successful brand in the nineties. But as time progressed, competitors like Boots made similar products and more. The Body Shop was unable to introduce new products lines or impress customers with the result that the bottom line suffered.
Opportunities in the SWOT analysis of The Body Shop
Opportunities refer to those avenues in the environment that surrounds the business on which it can capitalize to increase its returns. Some of the opportunities include:
- Growing anxiety on health: With the internet creating phobic on the usage of chemicals in products, customers are going natural in most of their daily wear items. This can be a huge opportunity for The Body Shop which is already into natural ingredient based makeup and cosmetics.
Threats in the SWOT analysis of The Body Shop
Threats are those factors in the environment which can be detrimental to the growth of the business. Some of the threats include:
- Competition: The main competitors of The Body Shop are Estee Lauder, Sephora, Shiseido, and Revlon.
- Difficulty to attract customers: The market for beauty is huge but the competition is profuse with the result that it has become increasingly difficult to attract as well as engage customers. The result is that as time progresses only top brands will survive and all others are at threat of acquisitions.