Retail Buying and Merchandise Management for the Body Shop

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Retail Buying and Merchandise Management

Establishing and Maintaining a Retail Image

The Body Shop

Contents Page

Page

  1. Background of The Body Shop

3

  1. Importance of Communicating with Customers

3

  1. Examine the Concept of Retail Image

3

  1. Target market characteriestics

3

  1. Geographic

3

  1. Demographic

3

  1. Behavioral

4

  1. Store locations
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4

  1. Dynamics of creating and maintaining a retail image

4

  1. Retail Store Image

5

  1. Exterior

5-7

  1. General interior

7-8

  1. Store layout

8-10

  1. Displays

10-14

  1. Non-store displays

15

  1. Ways of encouraging customers

16

  1. Impact of community relations on a retailer’s image

17

  1. Conclusions

17

  1. Background of The Body Shop

The Body Shop was found by Anita Roddick in the year of 1976 which she opened the first store in United Kingdom using only £8000. In 1984, The Body Shop is floated on the London Stock Exchange. In 2006, The Body Shop won the PETA’s Proggy (progess) awards for its consistent commitment against animal testing.

  1. To show the importance of communicating with customers and examine the concept of a retail image.

Here are some dos and don’ts that promoters and salesman needs to know about and its importance. First, they are supposed to listen carefully what is the customer’s needs. Second, keeping the customers informed on the new products or even the latest promotions that is happening in the shop.

Here and some don’ts that promoters should not make. First, sales personnel should never interrupt the customers when they are lodging a complaint or speaking out their opinions that may improve the service quality. Second, sales personnel should not ignore customers and the requests the customers make. In order to gain the customer’s loyalty, sales personnel needs to give the customers attention so that the customers are able to trust the sales personnel.

  1. Retail image of The Body Shop

Retail image presents the proper image of the way a firm is distinguished by its customers and others. Some factors of a retailer’s image are its target market characteristics, store location.

  1. Target market characteristics

There are different characteristics of a target market which includes geographic, demographic and behavioral characteristics.

  1. Geographic

A geographic target market targets the customers in a certain area of the world. For The Body Shop, many outlets can be found all over the countries especially the Asian countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and South Korea.

As many people are becoming more appearance conscious, The Body Shop specifically has many stores in South Korea as South Korea is leading in the beauty market.

  1. Demographic

A demographic target market focuses on a specific gender, age group or income level.

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The Body Shop focuses on females, however, The Body Shop also has a wide range of products catered for males also. The age group The Body Shop targets on has also a wide range, ranging from the teens to even fifties. Lastly, The Body Shop has many customers whom their monthly income is above $6000 SGD as shown below.

(Source from http://sg.shownearby.com/place/The-Body-Shop-Wisma-Atria/533908/demographics/monthly-income)

  1. Behavioral

The behavioral target market targets on occasions and scale of adherence.

The Body Shop uses Facebook marketing that are focused on loyal customers whom follow The Body Shop Facebook page. The Body Shop posts their new products on the page, creating quizzes for the customers to understand the new product, giving them a chance to win the product and gain knowledge on the product itself.

  1. Store locations

For The Body Shop in Singapore, the stores are located in big shopping malls where most people go to such as Orchard Gateway, Bugis Junction, NEX, Changi Airport Terminal 3 and JEM. Basically, The Body Shop is all around Singapore, customers can find The Body Shop in the North, Central/South, East and West part of Singapore.

(Reference from, https://www.boundless.com/marketing/textbooks/boundless-marketing-textbook/integrated-marketing-communication-12/selecting-the-promotion-mix-for-a-particular-product-84/target-market-characteristics-421-4126/)

  1. Dynamics of creating and maintaining a retail image

Creating and to maintain a retail image is a complicated, multi-step, continuing process. It includes fare more than store “atmosphere”. With so many people having little time for shopping and others having lesser interest in it, more retailers understand that may have to entertain shoppers to draw in their businesses.

According to Alan Treadgold who identified six major retail image positions that firms stake out, there were two that applies to The Body Shop.

First, The Body Shop is all about atmosphere. The Body Shop creates an “extraordinary in-store experience, often with a special theme, where consumers are likely to think it’s fun to go.” The Body Shop does not have a wide range of products, bringing in facial products, body care and wash products, nail products. Despite the small range of products The Body Shop brings in, the prices tend to be on the high side.

Second, The Body Shop is price plus. The Body Shop offer a good value on the items they sell and are also an interesting place to shop. The Body Shop add in new products on a regular basis and hearten shoppers to spend more time.

(Source from Alan Treadgold, global head of retail strategy at Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide, Page 490, Retail Management, A Strategic Approach, Twelfth Edition by Barry Berman & Joel R. Evans)

  1. Retail store image

Retail store image is theideaorfeelingofa store inthe minds of consumers. Goodcompleteimpression ofthisnaturein termsof products availablein the store, the store itselfandthe experience theyexpect whenshopping atthe store.Hence, thestoreimageis actually are flection ofthe overall customertostoreenvironment.

It is important for a customer to understand the store image. Especially via its exterior, general interior, layout, and displays, lastly to look at the special case of non-store atmosphere.

  1. Exterior

The exterior of a shop is important as it takes charge to attract the potential consumers into the shop.

The photo below shows The Body Shop store in Great World City at Zion Road.

In the picture above, the main thing that attracts the consumers immediately is the large display window that promotes The Body Shop’s newest product. The store is relatively tall and wide, to simplify, it is rectangular shaped. The store is also big enough for the consumers to see The Body Shop immediately. It is likely that it will not get congested with consumers as there are two exits in both sides of the shop. Basically, the shop gives off a warm and colourful vibe to the consumers.

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The entrance of The Body Shop in Great World City.

As seen, the exterior are covered with glass, with only half of the space open for the customers to enter. A sign board was also placed outside so that the ongoing promotions can be seen by the customers before they enter into the store. At the right of the entrance, there is also a big poster that shows their campaigns and their values.

This is a photo of The Body Shop at ION Orchard. As shown, it has an open concept as compared to The Body Shop in Great World City. Consumers can just see the whole of the shop just by standing in front of it.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10635965_10152821525097323_2811071860510967625_n.jpg?oh=f85c8cdb3e04133fe1b56c602df21032&oe=54B502BE&__gda__=1425481451_4f39c96c5c5b28ded5a09d2d22dc1a64

At the entrance of every outlet, there will be this poster shown above. The Body Shop celebrates their thirty-eight years anniversary by showing their values, campaigns and visions summarised in a poster.

(Source from The Body Shop Singapore’s Facebook, https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10635965_10152821525097323_2811071860510967625_n.jpg?oh=f85c8cdb3e04133fe1b56c602df21032&oe=54B502BE&__gda__=1425481451_4f39c96c5c5b28ded5a09d2d22dc1a64)

  1. General Interior

General Interior is the inside of a building, from the point of view of creative outline.

https://scontent-b-sin.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/v/t1.0-9/536070_10150808069787323_401116242_n.jpg?oh=c23e18e250ccefcae682e73bd6a1938f&oe=54B44E1C

(Source from The Body Shop Singapore’s Facebook, https://scontent-b-sin.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn2/v/t1.0-9/536070_10150808069787323_401116242_n.jpg?oh=c23e18e250ccefcae682e73bd6a1938f&oe=54B44E1C)

In The Body Shop in Raffles City, the floorings are white and they made use of two kinds of lighting, orange and white. Orange lights gives off a warmer atmosphere as compared to white lighting as it is harsher to the eyes. The main colour for the walls in The Body Shop are white, which also gives off a cleaner look of the shop. Every time when the consumers walk in, The Body Shop smells of their products. It does not smell too overpowering, it smells light and pure.

Most of the walls are covered by shelves, however there are also pillars that are covered with white coloured bricks. The temperature in the shops are just right, not too cold or too hot for the consumers. The width of the aisles are fairly wide for the consumers to pass, without causing any congestion inside the store. The personnel in the stores are mainly dressed in black, together with a green coloured apron which symbolises the shop.

Lastly, it is very clean and neat inside the store, to escalate the atmosphere for the consumers that are in the store itself.

  1. Layouts

Layouts meant that how the items are placed or arranged, or a plan showing the ways to arrange the fittings.

Here is the layout plan for The Body Shop table displays.

As stated on the above, it is split into seven parts. White Musk, NPD Red Musk, Theme Area, Top 10 Area, Commercial Bridge, Skincare Experiential Area and lastly, Make-Up Area.

White Musk and NPD Red Musk are The Body Shop’s latest products. Followed by Theme Area, which are filled with White Musk Smoky Rose and White Musk Libertine, which are also their latest products under the White Musk and NPD Red Musk promotions.

In the Top 10 Area, it is filled with the consumer’s top 10 favourite products from The Body Shop. Followed by Commercial Bridge, which men’s EDT and facial scrub and laid out to display.

Skincare Experiential Area, which the skincare products can be found in this category of the layout includes eye creams, BB creams and etc. Lastly, the make-up area that are filled with nail polishes, and highlights.

For this display that were always placed right at the entrance, the testers are always placed on the top rack, followed by the non-testers that are placed under the “BUY ME” and “LOVE ME” racks. It is arranged according to the colours as shown above, yellow, dark orange, light orange, pink and green.

As shown in the photo above, it is compulsory for all stores with window to follow the window display as shown above to also promote their latest product named Red Musk.

The Body Shop in Novena has a straight traffic pattern. With a straight traffic pattern, there are some advantages like an efficient atmosphere is created. More floor space is also devoted to product displays. With businesses such as The Body Shop, floor space is needed to place more products to keep the area organised and tidy. People can also shop quickly as the products are placed only at a certain area, and consumers can see it easily without any confusions.

However, there are bound to be disadvantages. The disadvantages are the impersonal atmosphere, more limited browsing by customers, and rushed shopping behavior. Impersonal atmosphere gives the customers an uncomfortable surrounding that may lack of friendly human feelings, or may even make the customers feel unimportant. With more limited browsing by customers, chances of sales may decline as the customers will not manage to browse thoroughly for the items they want. Lastly, with rushed shopping behavior, customers may just take the product they need and walk out of the store.

(Source from, Page 499, Retail Management, A Strategic Approach, Twelfth Edition by Barry Berman & Joel R. Evans)

  1. Displays

Retail display meant how the products are displayed onto the display ranks in a certain way so that it is in a neat and uniformly order. There are many kinds of displays that can be found in The Body Shop, which includes table displays, shelf displays and counter-top displays. Mostly found are rack displays.

Here’s an example of shelf displays shown in the picture below.

As shown, there are the Gifts and Home Fragrance section. Products from both categories are placed from large sized to portable sized, to medium sized. It is easier for the consumers to see from their eye level. Consumers may purchase portable sized ones for their own use, and the larger sized ones as gifts.

Here’s the photo of the Fragrance section.

In the Fragrance section, the products are placed according to the rainbow spectrum. Starting from pink, gradually down to orange, till violet at the second column.

In the right last row of the display, there are two small dump bin displays. Shallow enough for the consumers to see what is in it, and also makes it easier for the consumers to just grab and go.

Here are the photos of the table displays. Samples are placed first of all products so that consumers have accessibility to try out the products before making up their minds to purchase the products. A spatula was included for the hygiene purpose. All products placed on the tables are promotional products so that they can attract more consumers to purchase.

As shown as the picture on the left, the sales made from selling the products will go to the charity. It is placed in an obvious place so that consumers can view and purchase, and also do a good deed to help with the needy.

Here’s the photo of the Body care section

In the Body care section, the products are also placed according to colours. Starting from the brighter colours like pink and red to earthly colours like light brownish and dark blue.

The two pictures shown are under the Skincare section. The products are placed according to colours, starting with earthy green, to sea blue, to light pink. There are also a few 25% notes around the shelves to let the consumers know that there is a promotion that is ongoing.

In the second picture, there is a theme display under the category “The cool skin treat”. Every products displayed are related to face, and are also decked in pink.

  1. Non-store display

Non-store display are displays that are outside the shop. They varies from catalogs, vending machines and websites.

This is a photo of an advertisement along Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station.

This photo shows The Body Shop newest product. Being placed in a city area, many office workers or shoppers will pass by this place. With this advertisement, it will leave a great impact for those who looks at it. With a picture of a baby, it simply leaves a clear message of “youth”.

  1. Ways of encouraging customers to spend more time shopping

Here are some ways to encourage customers to spend more time shopping.

The Body Shop created a membership club to encourage customers to spend more dollars to earn points to redeem on their favorite products. Additional discounts are given on regular price items and The Body Shop will invite them for a sneak preview product launch. The minimum criteria to qualify for the membership is to spend $50 in a single receipt, and for those who wants extra privileges will have to spend at least $400 within a year.

The Body Shop also collect customers contact particulars such as their mobile number or email address to update their new products, promotions and newsletters on their company event.

The Body Shop has also put news in social media to create awareness about their values and campaign, so that the customers will realise other than purchasing the products, the customers are also contributing to the campaigns.

In every 2-3 times in a year, there will be clearance sale as they have many quality products that are meeting the expiry date or face off products, selling them at further discount. It will extract new customers as first time buyer will try their product at great deals to patronise them the next visit.

Other than products, store personnel are also important. Product knowledge training received by the sales personnel so that they are able to recommend the most suitable product to the customer. It is also important for the sales personnel to be friendly and have a positive attitude so that the customers will also be loyal to the sales personnel.

The Body Shop will also display new or special priced products near the entrance to attract the customers to take a closer look and with the vibrant colour display of its products, it gives the customers accessibility to browse further.

Lastly, their products which contains fragrances, are all around the shop which gives the customers a sense of indulgence. This will also attract the customers to come into the shop and purchase the products.

(Reference from, http://wave.wavemetrix.com/content/body-shop-uses-social-media-bolster-its-ethical-credentials-00768)

  1. Impact of the community relations on a retailer’s image

The Body Shop has many community relations as The Body Shop is against animal testing and also protects the planet. This value is very significant to the founder, Anita Roddick, as her vision was to sell quality skin-care products that were made from natural components and packaged in environmentally friendly containers. It was also promoted worldwide to end the unnecessary sufferings of animals and also the dedication to find and obtain organic resources and components, setting ecological goals. The Body Shop is also one of the first to stand against animal testing.

The Body Shop also supports community fair trade and defends human rights. Strives to treat everyone in a fair and open manner, to venerate and treasure their veracity. The Body Shop continues to fight for social justice and human rights, and have never been scared to fight for the weak and the underprivileged. The Body Shop also takes pride in the Community Trade programme, as the organisation determines to make a difference to the farmers, manufacturer and their community’s lives.

Lastly, The Body Shop activates self-esteem by trying to bring out the natural beauty of a person. To The Body Shop, beauty is a feeling, a common way of being, where personality, confidence and playfulness are freely conveyed and celebrated. That is the soul of beauty. It is not just about looking gorgeous. It is about giving off an energetic approach to life.

  1. Conclusion

In conclusion, The Body Shop has a good reputation and has managed to leave the customers a good retail image. The Body Shop has also done a good job in establishing and maintaining a retail Image.