The Body Shop to push direct selling

The Body Shop is turning to Tupperware-style sales parties after annual results released last week revealed falling sales in its stores.

The Body Shop is turning to Tupperware-style sales parties after

annual results released last week revealed falling sales in its


The company has experimented with home parties for five years, but has

now decided to make them a more central part of its sales strategy.

It is trying to raise the profile of the operation, known internally as

Body Shop Direct. A PR team has been charged with promoting the concept

through magazines, and Body Shop founder Anita Roddick spoke at a Direct

Selling Association conference earlier this month about the benefits of

direct sales.

The move is an attempt to boost the fortunes of the retailer. Comparable

store sales are down 4% in the UK and 3% in the US, while figures for

the year to the end of February 1999 show profits fell by 91% from

pounds 38m to pounds 3.4m due to restructuring costs of pounds


Body Shop Direct already boasts 1600 consultants in the UK, where the

operation is headed by Barbara Sharples.

A spokesman for The Body Shop said: ’Body Shop Direct has grown

organically by word of mouth but now we will be looking to push it


Earlier this year, Virgin-owned cosmetics company Virgin Vie said it

would focus on direct selling following disappointing sales.

The Body Shop has also revamped its web site, which it says it will now

use as a marketing tool to grow the brand.


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