British personal care brand The Body Shop is reaping rich dividends in India after it slashed its prices by up to 35 per cent in the domestic market two years ago.
The 100-per cent subsidiary of French cosmetics brand L’Oreal, has grown to 65 stores and is now considering introducing India-centric products such as a hair oil to enter the personal care market.
The company, which entered India in 2006 through its franchise partner Quest Retail, said it is targeting 150 stores by 2014.
“Two years ago we aligned our prices with the Indian market. Since then the Indian business has accelerated in its growth registering a 60 per cent growth annually. Going forward, we will introduce a range to cater to the Indian audience,” Mr David Smith, Asia Pacific Managing Director, The Body Shop, said.
When the brand had entered the domestic market it was targeting only high-end customers. “We want to be an affordable brand for Indian consumers. We are going ahead and setting up stores in tier 2-3 cities,” he said.
It also roped in Bollywood actor Dia Mirza as its brand ambassador.
The Body Shop also launched moisture white shiso collection, a whitening skincare range. Asked if it has succumbed to the demand for fairness creams in the domestic market, Mr Smith said, “We are developing new ideas based on consumer insight. Wherever there is opportunity to grow, we will address that segment. We will be introducing hair oil for the Indian market shortly.”
The Body Shop has over 1,000 stock keeping units in 10 categories including personal care, skincare, babycare, bath and scrubs among others.
According to Ms Shriti Malhotra, CEO, The Body Shop India, “We are in the segment between mass and premium. We are targeting a customer base of 15-20 million in next 2-3 years,” she added.
Analysts note that the derma-cosmetic market in India is buzzing with activity with almost all major players such as HUL, L’Oreal, Oriflame pumping investment into the segment.
Source : The Hindu Business Line