Page 3: Customers
In the 52 weeks to 28th February 1997, The Body Shop recorded 87 million customer transactions. This means that every 0.4 seconds, someone, somewhere buys something from The Body Shop. Customer care therefore has become a crucial part of the trading policy. The Body Shop customers demand not only high quality, value for money products, but also recognise the need for environmental responsibility. The customer needs to be well-informed in order to make responsible choices.
The Body Shop has hundreds of suppliers, all of whom have their own stakeholders to satisfy. For smaller suppliers, profits and income may be significant, but also discounts and payment periods may be important. In 1990, The Body Shop introduced the idea of product stewardship which attempts to assess the credentials of ingredient suppliers, giving them a score from 0 to 3 stars based on their commitment to environmental management and auditing, water management and the ecological impact of the ingredients and packaging production. In order to assist the suppliers, The Body Shop has begun to share best practices and benchmarking.
Community Trade suppliers
This is a group of 25 suppliers in 13 countries (as at May 1997), such as Brazil, Ghana and Bangladesh, specifically chosen because they are struggling economically. The Body Shop believes that this trade should be more than the simple exchange of goods and currency. It wants to help create livelihoods and explore tradebased approaches to supporting sustainable development by sourcing ingredients and accessories directly from socially and economically marginalized producer communities. The emphasis is on long-term trading relationships, seeking to work with the communities rather than exploit them for a profit. The Body Shop offers its knowledge, training, creativity and purchasing power in exchange for materials. These communities clearly have a stake in the future success of the organisation.