The Body Shop looks to gain momentum in the Middle East with new launches

By Andrew MCDOUGALL contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Body Shop looks to gain momentum in the Middle East with new launches

Related tags: Middle east, United arab emirates

The Body Shop is turning to new product launches in the Middle East as it looks drive sales in the region off the back of a good year in 2015.

According to parent company L’Oréal’s annual results, the UK-based brand recorded 10.7% growth based on reported figures for the year, and this was thanks to good momentum in the Middle East, as well as in Africa and Europe, only offset by challenges in Asia and North America.

Looking at growth

In the Middle East, the company saw double-digit sales growth in some markets such as Saudi Arabia and Oman, thanks to both premium and affordable skin care, and with fragrances and make-up not accounting for its best-selling categories, CEO Jeremy Schwartz says that he expects 2016 to be another year of growth for the region.

“We are looking at a growth of 3% in the cosmetics market in the Middle East​ [in 2016]. Many people in the Middle East have money and want to have something more indulgent,” ​he said in an interview in Dubai, reported in Gulf News​.

Schwartz explains that as consumers seem more open and respond to new ideas and solutions, this could be the best route to go down, particularly in fragrance and make-up, which account for 30% and 18 % of sales respectively.

It has already put this plan in action having launched a new foundation in the region in January and plans to roll out a range of natural face masks in the Middle East by the end of this year, according to Schwartz.

Performance

As mentioned, reported figures for 2015 increased for The Body Shop as sales reached €967.2 million, although this was a slight decline of -0.9% like-for-like.

The Middle East was part of the regions that did perform well though, with Saudi Arabia its largest market in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) — which makes up around 30% of its business in the region — followed by the UAE and Kuwait.

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