Carol Poolton
General manager

Six years’ service

19 years’experience in cosmetics industry

Appointed general manager of The Body Shop in 2003

Formerly head of beauty category in Clicks

“Love Your Body loyalty programme now accounts for 30% of sales”

operational review

The Body Shop is a global brand marketing naturally-inspired luxury toiletries and cosmetics. A destination shop for gifting and grooming, The Body Shop serves predominantly female consumers in the upper and middle income customer groups. New Clicks operates The Body Shop in southern Africa under an exclusive licence agreement.

Review of the year

The Body Shop continued the strong momentum built up last year as sales increased by 26%, lifted by new store growth and the continued success of the Love Your Body loyalty programme.

The store base was increased to 33 with the opening of four new stores. Stores were opened in Gauteng in the East Rand Mall, Greenstone Shopping Centre and Vaal Mall. The fourth new store, in Maerua Mall in Windhoek, Namibia, is the first Body Shop store in that country and it already ranks in the top ten stores based on turnover.

Membership of the loyalty programme now exceeds 52 000 and accounts for 30% of sales. The average basket size of loyalty card holders is now 50% more than non-card holders.

Sales growth in The Body Shop was boosted by a 60% increase in sales in the make-up category. A new make-up range with enhanced quality and packaging was introduced in September 2006.

A 33% increase in skincare sales can be largely attributed to the launch of Wise Woman, a range aimed at female consumers in the over 40 category, as well as new products in the Aloe and Seaweed ranges.

Product availability averaged 98% for the period with a greater depth of stock in stores and a more efficient distribution of stock between stores and the distribution centre.

Staff training was elevated with the appointment of a dedicated training manager which has resulted in improved customer service and enhanced in-store experience.

Strategic focus for 2008

Three to five new stores are planned for 2008. In line with the strategy of growing the presence in the inland region, most of these stores will be in Gauteng. The brand’s flagship stores in Sandton City, Cavendish Square and Menlyn Park will be refurbished.

The Body Shop will continue to focus on improving the in-store customer experience through stock availability, new products, well-executed promotional events and excellent service.