The Body Shop is one of the most well-known cosmetics companies in the world. It operates in several countries all over the world and has enjoyed a great amount of success in such ventures. It distinguishes itself from the rest of the market for it has managed to maintain animal-friendly and nature-friendly methodologies and manufacturing. Despite its huge success in worldwide markets, it has yet to penetrate one of the largest emerging consumer markets in the world, China.
The importance of the Chinese market to any company aiming at global operations cannot be stressed enough. The Chinese economy is the fastest growing economy in the world which has given the Chinese market greater purchasing power. Furthermore, with Chinese people now more aware of global brands, they are eager for new products, brands, and companies to enter their retail market. Any company cannot brag of a success in penetrating the international market if it cannot penetrate the Chinese consumer market. For this reason, it is of utmost importance for our company to explore the possibility of opening up operations in China.
To determine the viability of opening up Body Shop outlets in China, a marketing analysis was conducted. Such analysis involved looking into several important factors that will influence a company’s success in the country. However, due to the vast geographic area of the country, the analysis was concentrated in the two cities which the company targets, Beijing and Shanghai. Some of the critical factors that were explored were the economic and political climate in the country as well as the cultural and social situation. These factors are those that are deemed to affect not just the entry and operations of the company in the country but the consumers most likely to purchase the company’s products. Specifically, the analysis considered the social and economic standing of women in the two cities. Body Shop’s primary target market is composed of women. As such, if women do not have the ability to make purchasing decisions, the success of the company’s operations is highly unlikely.
The results of the market research present a bright future for the company with its plan to expand operations into China. For one, the economic climate is very amiable as further growth is expected in the coming years. With proper and sufficient government control and regulation, the weaknesses of the Chinese economy would become irrelevant to the company’s plans. Secondly, the political situation is at a point where it will not be detrimental to the company. Numerous multinational companies have successfully expanded operations into the country without experience politically-created trouble. The most critical finding of the study is the social and cultural change that the Chinese have undergone. Chinese women in particular have undergone a social change that is greatly beneficial to the company. Nowadays, women in China have reached equal footing with men. No longer are they cast as the lower or lesser gender. They now have the same capabilities and ability to control. Specifically, women in China now possess the power to purchase as they now earn their own income. This is extremely important for the company as it solidifies its primary target market, the women in China.
Based on the said findings, it is evident that the Chinese consumer market is a viable market for Body Shop. There is a solid target market that the company can cater to. Opening up retail stores in China is necessary if The Body Shop truly wants to become a global brand.