Women’s Wear Daily
04.19.2014
fashion-features
fashion-features

New Year’s Resolution: BBW Takes Holistic Route to Wellness

NEW YORK — Most years start off with good intentions.There are the diet plans, the new projects and renewed commitments to family and...

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Jasmine Vanilla is the latest addition to the Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy collection

True Blue Spa items.

Photo By WWD Staff

Beth Pritchard

Photo By WWD Staff

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NEW YORK — Most years start off with good intentions.

There are the diet plans, the new projects and renewed commitments to family and friends.

Well, this January, women looking for a little push in the right direction now have a corporate buddy to turn to — Bath & Body Works.

Over the past year, BBW has been reengineering the DNA of its corporate structure to become more than simply a purveyor of fruit and floral scented shower gels and novelty candles.

According to Beth Pritchard, longtime president of the 1,600-store chain, the company’s revised mission is to "establish Bath & Body Works as the 21st century apothecary where good health and great care blend into great solutions." Generally, it wants to delve a bit more deeply into helping customers improve the quality of their lives. Shoppers should not only smell good, but feel good.

When Bath & Body Works started in 1990, "personal care was routine, soap was to get the body clean and lotion was to heal chapped elbows and rough hands. BBW turned it into a pampering experience, with softening and scenting," Pritchard remarked. "Our research over the last two years shows that women still want to be pampered, but they also want to feel good inside. There is a desire for well-being."

To begin to address this, BBW introduced the Aromatherapy and True Blue Spa product collections a little more than a year ago, during the summer of 2001. A few months later, the chain unveiled a new store format that would progress BBW from its original "woodstain" look to a more spalike environment with white tones and polished floors. A handful of flagship stores, now numbering 23, began to offer spa services such as massages and facials.

Currently half of all BBW stores sport the "white" look, which will be rolled out to all stores throughout the year. Looking ahead, the company hopes to have some 300 flagships by 2005.

But it’s not just about products that promise to soothe, energize or stimulate romance.

In November, Bath & Body Works held its first Well-Being Summit, a conference for some 1,000 A-list customers, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.
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