The Body Shop cuts prices, reaps dividends in India

April 13th, 2010 - 1:36 pm ICT by IANS  

By Shilpa Raina
New Delhi, April 13 (IANS) They know the trick. Britain-based personal care products retailer The Body Shop is growing by leaps and bounds in India thanks to slashed prices. The move has helped take their total number of stores to 35 in 16 cities.

Last year, The Body Shop had cut down the price of its 200 top-selling products by 20-30 percent to tap the Indian cosmetics market. Buoyed by the good response, it has further slashed prices by almost 35 percent on more than 600 products across the country.

“The response to our previous year’s campaign was so huge that we decided to expand it again in order to retain our existing customers and also reach out to potential customers,” Sameer Prasad, chief operating officer of Planet Retail Holdings Pvt Ltd, told IANS in an interview.

Planet Retail Holdings Pvt Ltd is a franchise for The Body Shop products in India.

“As we have entered a new phase of growth and development of the brand in India, we want to make sure that our products are accessible and affordable,” said Prasad.

With the price cut, The Body Shop’s lip balms will now be available for Rs.195, while they were earlier priced at Rs.225. Also their Vitamin E Moisturising Cream will now cost Rs.695, while its earlier cost was Rs.995.

The move had fetched them good business and within a year, from having 25 stores in eight cities, the brand now owns 35 stores across 16 cities.

“There was a significant increase in our sales because of this strategy. We monitor all our transactions across all stores and there was around a 15-20 percent rise in sales because of the move,” explained Prasad.

The company, a 100-percent subsidiary of French cosmetics giant L’Oreal, is now aiming at opening 20 more stores over the next 12 months.

Apart from being present in all metropolitan cities, the company is focussing on Tier II and Tier III cities because they believe customers are present everywhere.

“We believe that clients are everywhere. If a product is good, they would love to try it. So, rather than customers coming all the way to us, we believe in reaching out to them,” explained Prasad.

The company plans to open standalone stores in Aurangabad, Mangalore and Bhopal.

“If a person lives in Aurangabad, he will have to come to Mumbai or Pune to buy our product. So we are planning to open a store there soon, making it easier for them to buy our product,” said Prasad.

He felt the current market scenario is favouring the brand because malls are coming up in every state, giving his company a reason to open its stores across various cities.

Apart from focussing on standalone stores, the brand has also taken the shop-in-shop route to increase its market share.

Currently the products are made available in central malls and Debenhams, a Britain-based garment accessories and fashion retailer, and are likely to hit selective stores of Shoppers Stop as well.

(Shilpa Raina can be contacted at shilpa.r@ians.in)

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