‘Power to regions’ in The Body Shop revamp

The Body Shop’s radical business overhaul could potentially lead to a more localised design output and create new jobs at its 50-strong design arm, according to the company’s design chief.

The Body Shop head of global design Jon Turner says his team will initially be “absolutely unaffected” by last week’s announcement that the company will restructure its operations, with the loss of an undisclosed number of manufacturing jobs from the 1800-strong company. A Body Shop spokesman declines to comment on reports that redundancies could run into hundreds.

The restructure will include the shift of resources from the UK headquarters in Littlehampton in West Sussex to business units in the UK, Europe, Asia and the Americas.

“It’s far too early to say exactly what effect the changes will have on us. But it’s likely to make operations more efficient, and so make our lives easier,” says Turner.

Under the current system, overseas design projects pass through five offices before reaching the London design team. In future, designers will deal more directly with in-house clients, through the relevant regional office, says Turner.

“The move will give more power to the regions and this will probably lead to a more localised manifestation of design. We may find, for example, that in Australia a particular message is required that wouldn’t be so effective in another region,” he adds.

Turner says the decentralisation of power could result in local design centres. “However, with digital technology, the main part of the operation would always remain in London,” he adds.

The company’s design team includes 27 designers who work in packaging, product, interior, and graphic design. It also has copywriters and account handlers. Turner reports directly to co-chairman Anita Roddick.

The group is now rolling out an evolved retail format, which was designed in-house and trialed in Brixton, south London, to outlets worldwide.

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