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
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.