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The Body Shop to focus on growing presence in tier 2, 3 cities in India

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Shiv Joshi
Shiv Joshi
An editor with over 20 years of experience across industry verticals and content formats from tabloids to magazines, he is the Deputy Group Managing Editor at Images Group.

It will also increase its presence on quick commerce to improve its reach and be accessible to more customers across the country

Mumbai: British ethical beauty brand The Body Shop will focus on expanding its presence in tier 2 and tier 3 cities in India with a special emphasis on increasing its reach in central and Northeast India, Harmeet Singh, Chief Brand Officer, The Body Shop – Asia South told IndiaRetailing.

“We are getting great customer demand and response from smaller towns and cities like Indore and we want to make our brand more accessible to them,” Singh said adding that the brand receives several requests for opening stores in small towns through its customer channels including emails, and phone calls. She said Body Shop currently boasts a “quite extensive” network in the top 10 cities of India with almost 15 to 20 stores in each city.

The Body Shop India operates 200 stores nationwide and plans to expand its footprint to 100 more brand touchpoints by 2025. “This ambitious yet purposeful vision for growth in India focuses on a major expansion in travel retail, beauty specialty, and quick commerce segments. Additionally, we cater to 1500+ cities through our online reach and maintain strong marketplace partnerships with all leading players,” she said.

“The new touchpoints will be a mix of own stores in upcoming malls not only in metro cities but also tier two and three towns, retail partners, marketplaces and quick-commerce,” she added.

Quick commerce is going to be another important piece for growing its online presence. The brand’s online bouquet includes and major marketplaces like Amazon, Nykaa and Myntra, where it has been for the last seven years.

The brand also wants to increase its presence on quick commerce channels.

“We are already on Blinkit and Bigbasket and we will be on Zepto and other emerging channels soon,” Singh shared.

Pre-Covid, about 10% of the ethical beauty chain’s business came from online. It surged to around 45%-50% during the pandemic days and has now settled at 25%.

Singh was speaking at the sidelines of the brand’s 18th anniversary celebrations in Mumbai. The brand entered the subcontinent through Quest Retail Pvt. Ltd., a company engaged in the marketing, retailing, and distribution of global beauty brands in India.

Gurugram-based Quest also operates premium beauty brand Kiehl’s and direct-to-consumer brand Avon in the country.

The Body Shop opened its first outlet at Inorbit Malad in Mumbai on 6 June 2006, making it one of the earliest entrants in the category. Today, while the brand’s UK business has filed for bankruptcy and is being restructured, India, being a franchise market, is immune from the impact, Singh said.

Singh said that the India business was growing and that India was a leading franchise market in the region for the brand without revealing any performance numbers.

“India is the biggest market for The Body Shop. And there are big plans coming up for India, which we will reveal in the months to come,” she said.

On the occasion of its anniversary, the brand also launched Braille Signages in its Palladium store—an initiative to make shopping at the brand easier for its visually impaired customers.

“We do have visually challenged customers coming in at many of our stores. But to share some statistics, there are 70 million visually impaired people in India. And out of that, about 4.95 million are blind. We want to make the brand more accessible to them,” Singh said.

Inspired by suggestions from Disability Rights Activist and Youth Collective Council (YCC) member Virali Modi, the Braille features include category call-outs across the store, unlocking a holistically inclusive shopping experience. The YCC was launched in August 2023 to incorporate the voices of India’s emerging changemakers into The Body Shop’s business strategy, fostering a more youth-centric, sustainable, and inclusive approach. This new initiative expands the ambit of The Body Shop’s inclusivity beyond its gender-neutral product range and diverse staff.

The brand which employs about 600 people in India has 10 staff members who are a part of the LGBTQA+ spectrum and embrace gender sensitivity at all levels.

The brand chose its store at the Phoenix Palladium in Mumbai as the venue of choice to make the announcement as it is one of 20 Activist Workshop stores the brand has across the country. Activist Workshop stores is a concept store by the beauty retailer where every element including the fixtures are made from recycled materials to reflect the brand’s focus on sustainability.


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