Britain’s Body Shop beauty chain is being sold for 940 million euros to the world’s largest cosmetics group L’Oreal. Founder Anita Roddick, will remain in her current role as a consultant to the retailer of natural beauty products. And she insisted that Body Shop’s ethical approach to such things as the environment and animal welfare would not change.
L’Oreal dwarfs the other majors in the cosmetics field. Its turnover last year was three times more than its nearest rival Germany’s Beiersdorf Nivea. The French firm has grown by buying 18 other companies in the last five years, including leading luxury brands in Japan and the US.
Anita Roddick started with one shop in 1976. Now there are more than 2,000 and she believes the business world has come round more to her way of thinking. She said: “Businesses aren’t found in nature, they’re not deemed by God, they’re made by men and women and they’re subject to change. People who years ago were our enemies are now our
staunchest supporters. People change, they see the value of what small companies do. They want to learn from other companies.
Roddick said the fact that the biggest cosmetics company in the world wants to learn about such things as fair trade makes her “very happy”. But supporters of her campaigns for fairer trade and on green issues were dismayed by the deal because L’Oreal does carry out animal testing. L’Oreal boss, Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, said long-term they will be moving more towards Body Shop’s ethical approach.