View from City Road: Body Shop smooths away a few wrinkles
Friday 15 October 1993
Yesterday's results suggest that his treatment has ironed out a few of the worst wrinkles. Concentrating more on customers' needs - cosmetics appeal to a far wider audience than white grape tonic, for example - has almost arrested the like-for-like sales declines (though partly, it has to be admitted, because last autumn's trading was so awful). The simple expedient of tailoring stock production to customers' demand has left the balance sheet in much better shape.
Outside Britain, Body Shop does appear to be one of the few retailers to have found an exportable formula. But it is easy to expand by opening new shops, particularly when they are franchised and the capital costs are low.
The break-neck pace of expansion - about 140 new shops this year, on top of 173 opened last year - suggests that even the supposedly comparable sales increases quoted by the company will be distorted by the maturing of recently opened stores.
Investors, like television journalists, are always looking for reasons to knock Body Shop. The results may not give them the ammunition they need, but neither do they give a convincing reason to applaud.
- 1 Michelle Rodriguez: Fast & Furious actor apologises after telling 'minorities' to stop taking on 'white' roles
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Stephen Hawking's wife Jane Wilde on their marriage breakdown: 'The family were left behind'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Putin critic may have been murdered by Islamic extremists, says president-led committee
British are sexually uptight, dirty and drink too much – according to Spanish book
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
White and gold or blue and black – what colour is the dress? An eyewitness gives a definitive answer
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...
£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...
£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...
£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...