BODY AND SOUL by Anita Roddick


Profits with Principles--the Amazing Success Story of Anita Roddick and The Body Shop
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 In case the title fails to warn you, this is a somewhat unfocused inspirational corporate history by the entrepreneurial cult heroine who founded the wildly remunerative ``environmentally conscious'' cosmetics company called The Body Shop. What the book doesn't tell you: anything about the financial or marketing nuts and bolts of how Roddick turned one little provincial English store into a worldwide chain and manufacturer of ``natural'' remedies worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Still, the story has interest--as the chronicle of a hippie woman from Littlehampton, England, tossed willy-nilly into the last decade's economic boom and making the most of it, and as a manifesto for environmentally pure and socially responsible business practices. In respect to the latter, Roddick advocates a ban on animal testing; increased corporate campaigns for saving the whales, preserving the rain forests, and disarming the world; a soft retail sell; recyclable products; and placing factories in undeveloped regions, such as Easterhouse, Scotland--where, Roddick writes, ``we employed the unemployable,'' who ``fell in like lambs.'' (Unions are necessary only when the managers are ``bastards.'') She attributes The Body Shop's success to ``passion'': ``I have never been able to separate Body Shop values from my own personal values,'' she boasts, and delineates them fully. How did Roddick force all 600-odd Body Shop operators to adopt her green-and-white color scheme while maintaining a corporate ``democracy''? What is the exact financial structure of this profitable ``social experiment''? We don't find out here, but we may be inspired to expand our own little business in homage.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-517-58542-1
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1991