Body Shop unveils store of the future to staunch sales decline

Beauty giant Body Shop is offering a glimpse of the future with the global debut of a new store type in Covent Garden, London that the retailer has dubbed 'Shop Me'.

The retailer is keen to win back UK shoppers, who have been defecting from the right-on brand, with more modern stores and improved product.

Body Shop International marketing director Andy King said the 30 James Street layout showcased the retailer's new branding, including a fresh take on the logo. 'This new design offers a more contemporary feel and more effectively promotes our products,' he said.

The 700 sq ft Shop Me interior jettisons the traditional green box look and replaces it with directional lighting, light-coloured stone floors and hemp backdrops. Other features include a 'more user-friendly' cash desk and mobile bamboo dividers to better frame product.

The retailer set a worldwide expansion target of 300 new shops at its preliminary results in May. If judged successful, the Shop Me shop fit will provide the blueprint for the stores, but a spokesman stressed it remained in the test phase.

Although a profitable global enterprise, Body Shop's domestic sales have been in decline for the past six years - UK like-for-like sales slumped 13 per cent in the year to February.

The retailer is also testing a second format, Recycle Me, which involves a cosmetic refit of existing stores in a handful of UK outlets.