The Body Shop is expanding its footprint in South America with the opening of its first store in Chile. Chile is the second country in The Body’s Shop’s South American purview — Brazil was first in 2014, and the chain has since opened some 100 stores there.
The 700-square-foot space, which opened last week, is located in Santiago’s Plaza Egaña Mall. “We have a very high brand awareness there,” said global chief executive officer Jeremy Schwartz of the company’s decision to open in Chile. “[Chileans] are very connected to [North] America and Europe, they travel a lot and find us.”
L’Oréal Luxe oversaw the store opening, and consulted on the assortment of 385 stockkeeping units — a pared-down selection, considering The Body Shop’s entire product line is about 950 by Schwartz’s estimate. Starting small is part of the strategy. Schwartz noted that the stock is comprised of body- and skin-care products, with a focus on the latter and heritage products such as the body butter, which he said Chilean brand fans will be more likely to recognize. Skin-care ranges like Drops of Youth and Oils of Life will be heavily promoted. Schwartz said that on a trip to the Body Shop’s stores in Mexico, he spoke to local consumers and noted an interest in “what we stand for — naturalness, veganism, no animal testing.” Schwartz is optimistic Chilean customers will express this same interest.
Makeup will come later, as is the case with all of The Body Shop’s global store openings. “We want to make sure we establish the area we’re quite famous for [first],” said Schwartz.
Schwartz was mum on whether there will be more Body Shop stores in Chile’s future, but did note that the brand is interested in pursuing more stores in Latin America as a whole — aside from Brazil and now Chile, the Body Shop is also in Mexico. The brand maintains sustainable ingredient-harvesting programs in several countries there — Brazil nuts in Peru, for example — but acknowledges its lack of retail presence in the region. “Our relationship with Latin America is very significant, but we haven’t opened stores there. We want to readdress that,” said Schwartz. “[Chile] is the beginning of something that builds on what we’re doing in Brazil.”